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Thermoelectric Polymer Composites, Method of Improving the Thermodynamic Performance

Tech ID:
Principal Investigator:
Mei Zhang
Licensing Manager:
  • Pending

Thermoelectric technology has been treated as a candidate to convert heat into electricity to reuse the waste heat. By using body heat, thermoelectric generators are promising when applied to wearable devices as the power source. Organic thermoelectric materials have drawn more and more attention in such applications due to their good flexibility, low density, low toxicity, low cost, low thermal conductivity, and good processability. In contrast to conductive polymers, the thermoelectric performance of insulating polymers, with better processability and lower cost, is limited by the low electrical conductivity. In this patent, polymer pyrolysis, which was reported to improve the electrical conductivity of some insulting polymers, was used to improve the thermoelectric properties of insulting polymer composites. The studies show that the structure conjugation during pyrolysis is beneficial to both the Seebeck coefficient and electric conductivity of polymer composites. The partially conjugated polymer composite obtained a comparable power factor to that of the conductive polymer composites. With the contribution of this method, more options are provided for the studies of flexible thermoelectric materials with better processability and lower cost.


  • Improved electrical conductivity of insulting polymer composites.
  • Improved processability at a lower cost.