Organic Thermoelectric Generators
Date du début: 1 avr. 2013,
Date de fin: 31 mars 2018
At the moment, there is no viable technology to produce electricity from natural heat sources (T<200°C) and from 50% of the waste heat (electricity production, industries, buildings and transports) stored in large volume of warm fluids (T<200°C). To extract heat from large volumes of fluids, the thermoelectric generators would need to cover large areas in new designed heat exchangers. To develop into a viable technology platform, thermoelectric devices must be fabricated on large areas via low-cost processes. But no thermoelectric material exists for this purpose.Recently, the applicant has discovered that the low-cost conducting polymer poly(ethylene dioxythiophene) possesses a figure-of-merit ZT=0.25 at room temperature. Conducting polymers can be processed from solution, they are flexible and possess an intrinsic low thermal conductivity. This combination of unique properties motivate further investigations to reveal the true potential of organic materials for thermoelectric applications: this is the essence of this project.My goal is to organize an interdisciplinary team of researchers focused on the characterization, understanding, design and fabrication of p- and n-doped organic-based thermoelectric materials; and the demonstration of those materials in organic thermoelectric generators (OTEGs). Firstly, we will create the first generation of efficient organic thermoelectric materials with ZT> 0.8 at room temperature: (i) by optimizing not only the power factor but also the thermal conductivity; (ii) by demonstrating that a large power factor is obtained in inorganic-organic nanocomposites. Secondly, we will optimize thermoelectrochemical cells by considering various types of electrolytes.The research activities proposed are at the cutting edge in material sciences and involve chemical synthesis, interface studies, thermal physics, electrical, electrochemical and structural characterization, device physics. The project is held at Linköping University holding a world leading research in polymer electronics.
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