Hybrid organic-inorganic thermoelectric materials through a concept of vapor phase infiltration

CIC nanoGUNE Seminars

Kristina Ashurbekova, Post-doctoral Researcher, Nanomaterials, CIC nanoGUNE
nanoGUNE seminar room, Tolosa Hiribidea 76, Donostia - San Sebastian
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Hybrid organic-inorganic thermoelectric materials through a concept of vapor phase infiltration **Hybrid organic-inorganic thermoelectric materials through a concept of vapor phase infiltration** Kristina Ashurbekova Post-doctoral Researcher, Nanomaterials, CIC nanoGUNE Thermoelectric (TE) devices have attracted great interest in waste heat recovery and solar heat utilization. Most ongoing research focuses on inorganic TEs for their high Seebeck coefficient (S) and electrical conductivity (σ). Their drawbacks are their low conversion efficiency, toxicity, and their high cost, which are serious obstacles for their broad use. Less attention has been paid to organic TEs, mainly because of their limited range of operating temperatures. The figure-of-merit of organic TEs is usually 2-3 orders of magnitude lower than that of inorganic ones, due to their low S, σ, and, consequently, power factor (PF). However, organic materials have some key benefits over inorganic materials, including their low density, low cost, and low thermal conductivity. Very recently, hybrid organic-inorganic materials have been considered as promising candidates for exceptionally good TEs as they opt for outperforming traditional TEs by combining the low thermal conductivity of organic materials with the high S and σ of inorganic materials. With the ability to offer flexible, inexpensive, and scalable energy conversion, hybrid materials are an unavoidable future perspective of TE technology. Still, currently available hybrid TEs have serious limitations: 1) the dominantly physical interactions between the organic and inorganic phases reduce their long-term stability and greatly restrict the carrier transport in hybrid TE materials, 2) limited control of the distribution of the organic/inorganic phases at the nanoscale makes enhancement of phonon scattering in hybrid TE materials difficult. To advance these materials and overcome the challenges, in this work we are introducing revolutionary new hybrid TE materials by applying vapor phase infiltration (VPI) process to polymers. A complete thermoelectric characterization of a new set of hybrid materials was performed with a lab-on- chip ZT test platform, which allowed the characterization of all in-plane thermoelectric parameters of the spin-coated and infiltrated PEDOT:PSS thin films.