Thermoelectric composites of poly(3-hexylthiophene) and carbon nanotubes with a large power factor
Composite films of poly(3-hexylthiophene) and single- as well as multi-walled carbon nanotubes are demonstrated to offer a competitive thermoelectric performance. The power factor significantly exceeds values obtained with either constituent alone provided that the conjugated polymer is sufficiently p-doped. The use of single-walled carbon nanotubes consistently results in a higher electrical conductivity with a maximum value above 103 S cm−1 and thus gives rise to a power factor of 25 ± 6 μW m−1 K−2 for a filler content of only 8 wt% and a maximum 95 ± 12 μW m−1 K−2 for 42–81 wt%. Moreover, a carbon nanotube content of 8–10 wt% does not compromise the low bulk thermal conductivity of the polymer matrix, which promises a high figure of merit of at least ZT > 10−2 at room-temperature. All samples are cast on plastic substrates, emphasising their suitability for large-area, flexible thermoelectric applications.
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