Role of interfaces in organic–inorganic flexible thermoelectrics

The interface is always a critical factor affecting thermoelectric performance in composite systems. However, understanding the electrical and thermal transport behaviors at the interfaces has been a long-standing challenge. Here, we advance this understanding by using spatially resolved current and thermal measurements in single wall carbon nanotubes (CNTs)-Tellurium-poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene): poly(4-styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS) nanocomposites. Our results indicate that the obtained ultra-low thermal conductivity in such nanocomposites with high CNTs content can be understood by the interface thermal resistance and interface density of the clusters, which is directly confirmed by quantitative mappings of thermal conductivity in the micro-scale interface regions via scanning thermal microscopy. Furthermore, the highly conductive layers can be formed at the interfaces of Te PEDOT:PSS and CNTs PEDOT:PSS revealed by high-resolution local conductivity and topography mapping, leading to simultaneous enhancement of electrical conductivity and Seebeck coefficient. Ultimately, a power factor of 224 mu W/mK(2), as well as an ultralow in-plane thermal conductivity of 0.39 W/mK at 410 K, has been achieved by tuning carrier mobility and phonon scattering using multiple polymer inorganic interfaces. The ZT value reaches up to 0.24 at 410 K and a planar flexible thermoelectric generator exhibits excellent output power of 1.33 mu W and highly competitive normalized maximum power density of 0.26 W/m at a temperature difference of 67.8 K These approaches give deep insights to understand the interface role in nanocomposites, and also attests to the great potential of using such organic-inorganic composites in wearable electronics.



Work Title Role of interfaces in organic–inorganic flexible thermoelectrics
Open Access
  1. Chan Liu
  2. Dong-Liang Shan
  3. Zhong-Hui Shen
  4. Guang-Kun Ren
  5. Yue-Wang
  6. Zhi-Fang Zhou
  7. Jiang-Yu Li
  8. Di Yi
  9. Jin-Le Lan
  10. Long-Qing Chen
  11. G. Jeffery Snyder
  12. Yuan-Hua Lin
  13. Ce-Wen Nan
  1. Flexible thermoelectric nanocomposites
  2. Interface
  3. Highly conductive layer
  4. Low thermal conductivity
License In Copyright (Rights Reserved)
Work Type Article
  1. Nano Energy
Publication Date 2021
Publisher Identifier (DOI)
Deposited August 10, 2022




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Work History

Version 1

  • Created
  • Updated
  • Added Creator Sandra Elder
  • Added Role of interfaces in organic–inorganic flexible thermoelectrics.pdf
  • Updated License Show Changes
  • Published
  • Updated Keyword, Publisher, Publisher Identifier (DOI), and 1 more Show Changes
    • Flexible thermoelectric nanocomposites, Interface, Highly conductive layer, Low thermal conductivity
    • Nano Energy
    Publisher Identifier (DOI)
    Publication Date
    • 2021-08
    • 2021
  • Deleted Creator Sandra Elder
  • Added Creator Chan Liu
  • Added Creator Dong-Liang Shan
  • Added Creator Zhong-Hui Shen
  • Added Creator Guang-Kun Ren
  • Added Creator Yue-Wang
  • Added Creator Zhi-Fang Zhou
  • Added Creator Jiang-Yu Li
  • Added Creator Di Yi
  • Added Creator Jin-Le Lan
  • Added Creator Long-Qing Chen
  • Added Creator G. Jeffery Snyder
  • Added Creator Yuan-Hua Lin
  • Added Creator Ce-Wen Nan