426164 Omni-Thermoelectrics: Atomically Convertible p/n Nanowire Inks for Flexible Generators

Monday, November 9, 2015: 4:05 PM
251F (Salt Palace Convention Center)
Ayaskanta Sahu1,2, Boris Russ1,2, Miao Liu3, Jason Forster1, Nav Nidhi Rajput4, Fan Yang5, Raffaella Buonsanti5, Chris Dames6, Kristin Persson7, Jeffrey Urban1 and Rachel Segalman8, (1)Materials Science Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, (2)Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, (3)Energy Technologies Area, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, (4)EETD, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, (5)Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, (6)University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, (7)EETD, lawrence berkeley national laboratory, Berkeley, CA, (8)Departments of Materials and Chemical Engineering, UCSB, Santa Barbara, CA

Thermoelectric devices possess enormous potential to reshape the global energy landscape by converting waste heat into electricity, yet their commercial implementation has been limited by their high cost to output power ratio. No single “champion” thermoelectric material exists due to a broad range of material-dependent thermal and electrical property optimization challenges. While the advent of nanostructuring provided a general design paradigm for reducing material thermal conductivities, there exists no analogous strategy for homogeneous, precise doping of materials. Here, we demonstrate a nanoscale interface engineering approach that harnesses the large chemically accessible surface areas of nanomaterials to yield massive, finely-controlled, and stable changes in the Seebeck coefficient, switching a prototypical p-type thermoelectric material, tellurium, into a robust n-type material exhibiting stable properties over months of testing. These remodeled, n-type nanowires display power factors comparable to their p-type counterparts, and are partnered together to demonstrate the first solution-processed, monomaterial flexible thermoelectric generators. We proceed further to dope these nanowires with small organic molecules to generate hybrid organic inorganic nanocomposites and demonstrate power factors and ZTs surpassing bulk tellurium.

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