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Synergistic Interactions in Sequential Process Doping of Polymer/Single-walled Carbon Nanotube Nanocomposites for Enhanced n-type Thermoelectric Performance, Small20, 9(2024)
Po-Shen Lin, Jhih-Min Lin, Shih-Huang Tung, Tomoya Higashihara*, and Cheng-Liang Liu*
This study focuses on the fabrication of nanocomposite thermoelectric devices by blending either a naphthalene-diimide (NDI)-based conjugated polymer (NDI-T1 or NDI-T2), or an isoindigo (IID)-based conjugated polymer (IID-T2), with single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs). This is followed by sequential process doping method with the small molecule 4-(2,3-dihydro-1,3-dimethyl-1H-benzimidazol-2-yl)-N,N-dimethylbenzenamine (N-DMBI) to provide the nanocomposite with n-type thermoelectric properties. Experiments in which the concentrations of the N-DMBI dopant are varied demonstrate the successful conversion of all three polymer/SWCNT nanocomposites from p-type to n-type behavior. Comprehensive spectroscopic, microstructural, and morphological analyses of the pristine polymers and the various N-DMBI-doped polymer/SWCNT nanocomposites are performed in order to gain insights into the effects of various interactions between the polymers and SWCNTs on the doping outcomes. Among the obtained nanocomposites, the NDI-T1/SWCNT exhibits the highest n-type Seebeck coefficient and power factor of −57.7 µV K−1 and 240.6 µW m−1 K−2, respectively. However, because the undoped NDI-T2/SWCNT exhibits a slightly higher p-type performance, an integral p–n thermoelectric generator is fabricated using the doped and undoped NDI-T2/SWCNT nanocomposite. This device is shown to provide an output power of 27.2 nW at a temperature difference of 20 K.