Effect of host-mobility dependent carrier scattering on thermoelectric power factors of polymer composites

Kun Zhang, Shiren Wang, Jingjing Qiu, Jeffrey L. Blackburn, Xin Zhang, Andrew J. Ferguson, Elisa M. Miller, Brandon L. Weeks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The interfacial carrier scattering was thought to be ineffective in enhancing thermoelectric (TE) properties of polymer hybrids and there was also a lack of fundamental understanding of carrier scattering at polymer/polymer interfaces. Here we unravel the mechanism behind the role of polymer/polymer interfacial scattering on the TE properties through integration of computation and experiments. We discover that the effect of interfacial scattering at polymer/polymer interfaces on TE properties of polymer hybrids is strongly dependent on the carrier mobility of host polymers besides interfacial barriers. Only when the host carrier mobility is above a threshold, the effect of interfacial scattering on TE enhancement can be significant. Simulation suggests that the host mobility threshold is ~1 cm2V-1s-1 for PEDOT-based polymers. The polymer hybrid system of poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) nanowires/PEDOT was successfully employed to verify the theoretical results. These findings offer groundbreaking knowledge on polymer/polymer interfacial carrier-transport and will advance the design and fabrication of high-efficiency organic thermoelectric materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-137
Number of pages10
JournalNano Energy
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Carrier scattering
  • Host mobility
  • Polymer hybrid
  • Thermoelectric


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