The thermoelectric properties of a unique hybrid polymerinorganic nanoparticle system consisting of tellurium nanowires and a conducting polymer, poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS), can be optimized by both controlling the shape of the nanoparticles and the loading and doping of the polymeric matrix with polar solvents. The mechanism for an observed improvement in power factor is attributed to the unique conducting nature of PEDOT:PSS, which exhibits a transition from a hopping transport-dominated regime to a carrier scattering-dominated regime upon doping with polar solvents. Near this transition, the electrical conductivity can be improved without significantly reducing the thermopower. Relying on this principle, the power factor optimization for this new thermoelectric material is experimentally carried out and found to exceed 100 μW m-1 K-2, which is nearly five orders of magnitude greater than pure PEDOT:PSS.
Yee, Shannon K., Nelson E. Coates, Arun Majumdar, Jeffrey J. Urban, Rachel A. Segalman
Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics