Morphology controls the thermoelectric power factor of a doped semiconducting polymer.

TitleMorphology controls the thermoelectric power factor of a doped semiconducting polymer.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsPatel, Shrayesh N., Anne M. Glaudell, Kelly A. Peterson, Elayne M. Thomas, Kathryn A. O'Hara, Eunhee Lim, and Michael L. Chabinyc
JournalSci Adv
Date Published2017 Jun

The electrical performance of doped semiconducting polymers is strongly governed by processing methods and underlying thin-film microstructure. We report on the influence of different doping methods (solution versus vapor) on the thermoelectric power factor (PF) of PBTTT molecularly p-doped with F n TCNQ (n = 2 or 4). The vapor-doped films have more than two orders of magnitude higher electronic conductivity (σ) relative to solution-doped films. On the basis of resonant soft x-ray scattering, vapor-doped samples are shown to have a large orientational correlation length (OCL) (that is, length scale of aligned backbones) that correlates to a high apparent charge carrier mobility (μ). The Seebeck coefficient (α) is largely independent of OCL. This reveals that, unlike σ, leveraging strategies to improve μ have a smaller impact on α. Our best-performing sample with the largest OCL, vapor-doped PBTTT:F4TCNQ thin film, has a σ of 670 S/cm and an α of 42 μV/K, which translates to a large PF of 120 μW m(-1) K(-2). In addition, despite the unfavorable offset for charge transfer, doping by F2TCNQ also leads to a large PF of 70 μW m(-1) K(-2), which reveals the potential utility of weak molecular dopants. Overall, our work introduces important general processing guidelines for the continued development of doped semiconducting polymers for thermoelectrics.

Alternate JournalSci Adv
PubMed ID28630931
PubMed Central IDPMC5473677