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Issue 10, 2017
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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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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
26 Apr 2017
Accepted
31 Aug 2017
First published
08 Sep 2017

Energy Environ. Sci., 2017,10, 2168-2179
Article type
Paper

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, 10, 2168
DOI: 10.1039/C7EE01130J

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