Authors Konidakis, I. ; Krause, B. ; Park, G.-H. ; Pulumati, N.B. ; Reith, H. ; Pötschke, P. ; Stratakis, E.
Title Probing the carrier dynamics of polymer composites with single and hybrid carbon nanotube fillers for improved thermoelectric performance
Date 04.08.2022
Abstract The incorporation of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) within polymer hosts offers a great platform for the development of advanced thermoelectric (TE) composite materials. Over the years, several CNT/polymer composite formulations have been investigated on an effort to maximize the TE performance. Meanwhile, several studies focused on the decay dynamics of the charged excitons within CNTs itself and therefrom derived structures, aiming to investigate the lifetimes and the corresponding recombination processes of free charge carriers. The latter physical phenomena play a crucial role in the performance of various types of energy converting and scavenging materials. Nevertheless, up to this date, there is no systematic study on the combination of TE parameters and the critical charge carrier dynamics within CNT-containing TE polymer composites. Herein, a variety of composites with single and hybrid CNT fillers based on polycarbonate (PC) and polyether ether ketone (PEEK) polymer matrices were prepared by melt-mixing in the small scale. At the same loading, the addition of single fillers in PC results in higher Seebeck coefficients and similar conductivities when compared to the use of hybrid-filler systems. In contrast, with hybrid-filler systems in PEEK composites, higher power factors could be reached than in single-filler composites. Moreover, the PC-based composites are studied using ultrafast laser time-resolved transient absorption spectroscopy, for the investigation of the exciton lifetimes and the physical origins of free charge carrier transport within the TE films. The findings of this study reveal interesting links between the TE parameters and the obtained charge carrier dynamics. Namely, it is found that the Seebeck coefficient of the composites relates directly to the exciton lifetimes, whereas the volume conductivity is independent of the exciton lifetimes and is determined mainly by the average number and the mobility of the free charged electrons at the higher energy states.
Journal ACS Applied Energy Materials 5 (2022) 9770-9781

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