Comprehensive model for the thermoelectric properties of 2D carbon nanotube networks


Dash, Aditya


Networks of semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) are interesting thermoelectric materials due to the interplay between CNT and network properties. Here we present a unified model to explain the charge and energy transport in SWCNT networks. We used the steady-state master equation for the random resistor network containing both the intra- and inter-tube resistances, as defined through their 1D density of states that is modulated by static Gaussian disorder. The tube resistance dependence on the carrier density and disorder is described through the Landauer formalism. Electrical and thermoelectric properties of the network were obtained by solving Kirchhoff s laws through a modified nodal analysis, where we used the Boltzmann transport formalism to obtain the conductivity, Seebeck coefficient, and electronic contribution to the thermal conductivity. The model provides a consistent description of a wide range of previously published experimental data for temperature and charge carrier density-dependent conductivities and Seebeck coefficients, with energetic disorder being the main factor to explain the experimentally observed mobility upswing with carrier concentration. Moreover, we show that for lower disorder energies, the Lorentz factor obtained from the simulation is in accordance with the Wiedemann-Franz law for degenerate band semiconductors. At higher disorder, deviations from simple band behavior are found. Suppressed disorder energy and lattice thermal conductivity can be a key to higher thermoelectric figures of merit in SWCNT networks, possibly approaching or even exceeding zT=1. The general understanding of the transport phenomena will help the selection of chirality, composition and charge carrier density of SWCNT networks to improve their efficiency of thermoelectric energy conversion.

Conference/Event Name
KAUST Workshop Organic Semiconductors and Flexible Electronics

Permanent link to this record