Enhancing the thermoelectric performance through the mutual interaction between conjugated polyelectrolytes and single-walled carbon nanotubes
Shuxun Wan(万树勋), Zhongming Chen(陈忠明), Liping Hao(郝丽苹), Shichao Wang(王世超), Benzhang Li(李本章), Xiao Li(黎潇), Chengjun Pan(潘成军), and Lei Wang(王雷)
Chin. Phys. B, 2022, 31 (2):
We present a method of constructing composites composed of conjugated polyelectrolytes (CPEs) and single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) to obtain a high-performing flexible thermoelectric generator. In this approach, three kinds of polymers, namely, poly[(1,4-(2,5-didodecyloxybenzene)-alt-2,5-thiophene] (P1), poly[(1,4-(2,5-bis-sodium butoxysulfonate-phenylene)-alt-2,5-thiophene] (P2), and poly[(1,4-(2,5-bis-acid butoxysulfonic-phenylene)-alt-2,5-thiophene] (P3) are designed, synthesized and complexed with SWCNTs as thermoelectric composites. The electrical conductivities of the CPEs/SWCNTs (P2/SWCNTs, and P3/SWCNTs) nanocomposites are much higher than those of non-CPEs/SWCNTs (P1/SWCNTs) nanocomposites. Among them, the electrical conductivity of P2/SWCNTs with a ratio of 1:4 reaches 3686 S·cm-1, which is 12.4 times that of P1/SWCNTs at the same SWCNT mass ratio. Moreover, CPEs/SWCNTs composites (P2/SWCNTs) display remarkably improved thermoelectric properties with the highest power factor (PF) of 163 μW·m-1·K-2. In addition, a thermoelectric generator is fabricated with P2/SWCNTs composite films, and the output power and power density of this generator reach 1.37 μW and 1.4 W·m-2 (cross-section) at ΔT=70 K. This result is over three times that of the thermoelectric generator composed of non-CPEs/SWCNTs composite films (P1/SWCNTs, 0.37 μW). The remarkably improved electrical conductivities and thermoelectric properties of the CPEs/SWCNTs composites (P2/SWCNTs) are attributed to the enhanced interaction. This method for constructing CPEs/SWCNTs composites can be applied to produce thermoelectric materials and devices.