Flexible N-type Thermoelectric Composite Films with Enhanced Performance through Interface Engineering and Post-treatment

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Flexible thermoelectric (TE) materials, which are devices that convert thermal gradients to electrical energy, have attracted interest for practical energy-harvesting/recovery applications. However, as compared with p-type materials, the progress on the development of n-type TE flexible materials has been slow due to difficulties involved in n-type doping techniques. This study used high mobility carbon nanotubes (CNTs) to a uniformly mixed hybrid-composite, resulting in an enhanced power factor by increasing electrical conductivity. The energy filtering effect and stoichiometric composition of the material used, bismuth telluride (Bi2Te3) correlated to a significant enhancement in TE performance, with a power factor of 225.9 μW m−1K−2 at room temperature: a factor of 65 higher than as-fabricated composite film. This paper describes a simplified synthesis for the preparation of the composite film that eliminates time-intensive and cost-prohibitive processing, traditionally seen during extrusion and dicing inorganic manufacturing. The resulting post-annealed composite film consisting of Bi2Te3 nanowire and CNTs demonstrate a promising candidate for material that can be used for an n-type TE device that has improved energy conversion efficiency.


Mechanical Engineering

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