High Thermoelectric Power Factor Organic Thin Films through Combination of Nanotube Multilayer Assembly and Electrochemical Polymerization. Academic Article uri icon


  • In an effort to produce effective thermoelectric nanocomposites with multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT), layer-by-layer assembly was combined with electrochemical polymerization to create synergy that would produce a high power factor. Nanolayers of MWCNT stabilized with poly(diallyldimethylammonium chloride) or sodium deoxycholate were alternately deposited from water. Poly(3,4-ethylene dioxythiophene) [PEDOT] was then synthesized electrochemically by using this MWCNT-based multilayer thin film as the working electrode. Microscopic images show a homogeneous distribution of PEDOT around the MWCNT. The electrical resistance, conductivity () and Seebeck coefficient (S) were measured before and after the PEDOT polymerization. A 30 bilayer MWCNT film (<1 m thick) infused with PEDOT is shown to achieve a power factor (PF = S2) of 155 W/m K2, which is the highest value ever reported for a completely organic MWCNT-based material and competitive with lead telluride at room temperature. The ability of this MWCNT-PEDOT film to generate power was demonstrated with a cylindrical thermoelectric generator that produced 5.5 W with a 30 K temperature differential. This unique nanocomposite, prepared from water with relatively inexpensive ingredients, should open up new opportunities to recycle waste heat in portable/wearable electronics and other applications where low weight and mechanical flexibility are needed.

published proceedings

  • ACS Appl Mater Interfaces

author list (cited authors)

  • Culebras, M., Cho, C., Krecker, M., Smith, R., Song, Y., Gmez, C. M., Cantarero, A., & Grunlan, J. C.

citation count

  • 44

complete list of authors

  • Culebras, Mario||Cho, Chungyeon||Krecker, Michelle||Smith, Ryan||Song, Yixuan||Gómez, Clara M||Cantarero, Andrés||Grunlan, Jaime C

publication date

  • February 2017