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Boron-doped single-walled carbon nanotubes with enhanced thermoelectric power factor for flexible thermoelectric devices

: Liu, Ye; Khavrus, Vyacheslav O.; Lehmann, Thomas; Yang, Hong-liu; Stepien, Lukas; Greifzu, Moritz; Oswald, Steffen; Gemming, Thomas; Bezugly, Viktor; Cuniberti, Gianaurelio


ACS applied energy materials 3 (2020), Nr.3, S.2556-2564
ISSN: 2574-0962
European Commission EC
Nano-carbons for versatile power supply modules
Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung BMBF (Deutschland)
Fraunhofer IWS ()
flexible thermoelectric applications; Single walled carbon nanotubes; single walled carbon nanotubes; thermoelectric measurements; ab initio stimulation

We report a detailed experimental and theoretical study on thermoelectric properties of boron-doped single-walled carbon nanotubes (B-SWCNTs), which are versatile building blocks of flexible thermoelectric devices. Implantations of substitutional boron dopants (0.1–0.5 atom %) in SWCNTs are realized using thermal diffusion. The after-synthesis boron doping simultaneously improves the Seebeck coefficient (S) and electrical conductivity (σ) of SWCNT networks, leading to an S2σ value of 226 μW/mK2. First-principle calculations indicate that a few tenths atom % of substitutional boron atoms improve the S value of semi-conducting SWCNTs but reduce the electron conductance in individual SWCNTs. The high σ of B-SWCNT networks is attributed to the improved electrical transport between laterally contacted metallic and semi-conducting nanotubes. The produced B-SWCNTs are stable over high-temperature annealing or processing in liquid media, which inspired us to fabricate thermoelectric modules by a low-cost printing method. The modules demonstrate an increased thermoelectric efficiency by 76% compared to those with undoped SWCNTs. This work provides a feasible fabrication strategy and physical insights for B-SWCNT-based flexible thermoelectrics.