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Large n- and p-type thermoelectric power factors from doped semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotube thin films

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Abstract

Lightweight, robust, and flexible single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) materials can be processed inexpensively using solution-based techniques, similar to other organic semiconductors. In contrast to many semiconducting polymers, semiconducting SWCNTs (s-SWCNTs) represent unique one-dimensional organic semiconductors with chemical and physical properties that facilitate equivalent transport of electrons and holes. These factors have driven increasing attention to employing s-SWCNTs for electronic and energy harvesting applications, including thermoelectric (TE) generators. Here we demonstrate a combination of ink chemistry, solid-state polymer removal, and charge-transfer doping strategies that enable unprecedented n-type and p-type TE power factors, in the range of 700 μW m−1 K−2 at 298 K for the same solution-processed highly enriched thin films containing 100% s-SWCNTs. We also demonstrate that the thermal conductivity appears to decrease with decreasing s-SWCNT diameter, leading to a peak material zT ≈ 0.12 for s-SWCNTs with diameters in the range of 1.0 nm. Our results indicate that the TE performance of s-SWCNT-only material systems is approaching that of traditional inorganic semiconductors, paving the way for these materials to be used as the primary components for efficient, all-organic TE generators.

Graphical abstract: Large n- and p-type thermoelectric power factors from doped semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotube thin films

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Publication details

The article was received on 26 Apr 2017, accepted on 31 Aug 2017 and first published on 08 Sep 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7EE01130J
Citation: Energy Environ. Sci., 2017, Advance Article
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    Large n- and p-type thermoelectric power factors from doped semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotube thin films

    B. A. MacLeod, N. J. Stanton, I. E. Gould, D. Wesenberg, R. Ihly, Z. R. Owczarczyk, K. E. Hurst, C. S. Fewox, C. N. Folmar, K. Holman Hughes, B. L. Zink, J. L. Blackburn and A. J. Ferguson, Energy Environ. Sci., 2017, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7EE01130J

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