Nanostructured thin film thermoelectric composite materials using conductive polymer PEDOT:PSS
Author(s)Kuryak, Chris A. (Chris Adam)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering.
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Thermoelectric materials have the ability to convert heat directly into electricity. This clean energy technology has advantages over other renewable technologies in that it requires no sunlight, has no moving parts, and is easily scalable. With the majority of the unused energy in the United States being wasted in the form of heat and the recent mandates to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, thermoelectric devices could play an important role in our energy future by recovering this wasted heat and increasing the efficiency of energy production. However, low conversion efficiencies and the high cost of crystalline thermoelectric materials have restricted their implementation into modem society. To combat these issues, composite materials that use conductive polymers have been under investigation due to their low cost, manufacturability, and malleability. These new composite materials could lead to cheaper thermoelectric devices and even introduce the technology to new application areas. Unfortunately, polymer composites have been plagued by low operating efficiencies due to their low Seebeck coefficient. In this research, we show an enhanced Seebeck coefficient at the interface of poly(3,4- ethylenedioxythiophene) poly(styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS) spin coated onto silicon substrates. The maximum Seebeck coefficient achieved was 473 uV/K with a PEDOT:PSS thickness of 7.75 nm. Furthermore, the power factor of this interface was optimized with a 15.25 nm PEDOT:PSS thickness to a value of 1.24 uV/K2-cm, which is an order of magnitude larger than PEDOT:PSS itself. The effect of PEDOT:PSS thickness and silicon thickness on the thermoelectric properties is also discussed. Continuing research into this area will attempt to enhance the power factor even further by investigating better sample preparation techniques that avoid silicon surface oxidation, as well as creating a flexible composite material of PEDOT:PSS with silicon nanowires..
Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, 2013.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 65).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology