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Structurally-driven Enhancement of Thermoelectric Properties within Poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) thin Films

Abstract : Due to the rising need for clean energy, thermoelectricity has raised as a potential alternative to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. Specifically, thermoelectric devices based on polymers could offer an efficient path for near-room temperature energy harvesters. Thus, control over thermoelectric properties of conducting polymers is crucial and, herein, the structural, electrical and thermoelectric properties of poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) thin films doped with p-toluenesulfonate (Tos) molecules were investigated with regards to thin film processing. PEDOT:Tos thin films were prepared by in-situ polymerization of (3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) monomers in presence of iron(III) p-toluenesulfonate with different co-solvents in order to tune the film structure. While the Seebeck coefficient remained constant, a large improvement in the electrical conductivity was observed for thin films processed with high boiling point additives. The increase of electrical conductivity was found to be solely in-plane mobility-driven. Probing the thin film structure by Grazing Incidence Wide Angle X-ray Scattering has shown that this behavior is dictated by the structural properties of the PEDOT:Tos films; specifically by the thin film crystallinity combined to the preferential edge-on orientation of the PEDOT crystallites. Consequentially enhancement of the power factor from 25 to 78.5 μW/mK 2 has been readily obtained for PEDOT:Tos thin films following this methodology.
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Ioannis Petsagkourakis, Eleni Pavlopoulou, Giuseppe Portale, Bryan A. Kuropatwa, Stefan Dilhaire, et al.. Structurally-driven Enhancement of Thermoelectric Properties within Poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) thin Films. Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2016, 6, pp.30501. ⟨10.1038/srep30501⟩. ⟨hal-01369623⟩

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