Improved power factor of polyaniline nanocomposites with exfoliated graphene nanoplatelets (GNPs)
In this work, exfoliated graphene nanoplatelets (GNPs)/polyaniline (PANI) nanocomposites have been prepared by sequential processing comprising: (i) a first aniline oxidative polymerization step under acidic conditions and (ii) mechanical blending with GNPs at different percentages. Thermoelectric pellets of the hybrid materials have been obtained at suitable circular geometry by means of cold pressing. Thermoelectric parameters have been determined at room temperature (electrical conductivity, Seebeck coefficient and thermal conductivity). Thermoelectric measurements show a drastic enhancement in both electrical conductivity and Seebeck coefficient with the addition of GNPs. A respectable maximum power factor value of 14 μW m−1 K−2 is reached for hybrid materials charged at 50 wt% GNP content, evidencing a 1000-fold enhancement with respect to the raw PANI polymer. The measured thermal conductivity is in the range of 0.5 W m−1 K−1 for pure PANI to 3.3 W m−1 K−1 for 50 wt% GNP content, which matches the parallel thermal resistor model for this nanocomposite.