Enhanced Thermoelectric Performance of Polythiophene/Carbon Nanotube-Based Composites

  • X. Y. Jiang
  • Q. K. Zhang
  • S. P. Deng
  • B. Zhou
  • B. Wang
  • Z. Q. ChenEmail author
  • N. QiEmail author
  • X. F. Tang


Binary polythiophene/multiwalled carbon nanotube (PTh/MWCNT) and ternary PTh/SnSe/MWCNT composites with different weight proportions have been successfully prepared by solution mixing, ultrasonic dispersion, and mechanical ball milling. The morphology, microstructure, and thermal stability of all the samples were studied by x-ray diffraction analysis, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, field-emission scanning electron microscopy, and thermogravimetric analysis. The electrical conductivity of both the binary PTh/MWCNT and ternary PTh/SnSe/MWCNT composites was increased by nearly five orders of magnitude compared with pure PTh across the whole measurement temperature range. However, the Seebeck coefficient at room temperature decreased sharply from \(453.4\,\mu {{\text {V K}}}^{-1}\) for pure PTh to \(11{-}20\,\mu {{\text {V K}}}^{-1}\) for the composites. The thermal conductivity of all the composites was lower than 0.6 \({{\text {W m}}}^{-1}\,{{\text {K}}}^{-1}\), being slightly higher than that of pure PTh. As a result, the ZT values of all the composites were much higher than that of pure PTh (\(0.032 \times 10^{-4}\)), reaching \(1.3 \times 10^{-4}\) and \(1.62 \times 10^{-4}\) at room temperature for the binary PTh/MWCNT and ternary PTh/SnSe/MWCNT composites, respectively. The maximum ZT value reached \(3.05 \times 10^{-4}\) at 433 K for the binary PTh/MWCNT composite with MWCNT content of 40 wt.%. These results suggest that the thermoelectric performance of PTh/MWCNT composites can be greatly enhanced compared with pure PTh.


Thermoelectric material binary PTh/MWCNT composites ternary PTh/SnSe/MWCNT composites ZT 


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This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant Nos. 11575131, 11775163, and 11875208, and the Natural Science Foundation of Hubei Province under Grant No. 2016CFA080.

Conflict of Interest

There are no conflicts of interest to declare.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hubei Nuclear Solid Physics Key Laboratory, Department of PhysicsWuhan UniversityWuhanChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Advanced Technology for Materials Synthesis and ProcessingWuhan University of TechnologyWuhanChina

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