This perspective discusses theories of polymer thermoelectrics, identifying combinations of electronic charge carrier energies and thermal conductivity mechanisms that could lead to the highest efficiencies. Structures, electrical conductivities, Seebeck coefficients, and figures of merit are summarized for some recently devised polymer-based thermoelectric materials. Foundational equations that define these quantities are presented, and are related to thermal conductivities as well. Finally, approaches to polymer composite design that optimize thermoelectric performance in light of the theoretical models are proposed.
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