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.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||ACS applied energy materials|
|Publication status||Published - 23 Mar 2020|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- ab initio stimulation, boron substitutional doping, flexible thermoelectric applications, single-walled carbon nanotubes, thermoelectric measurements