Polymer-Free Carbon Nanotube Thermoelectrics with Improved Charge Carrier Transport and Power Factor

Jeffrey Blackburn, Andrew Ferguson, Zbyslaw Owczarczyk, Rachelle Ihly, Isaac Gould, Brenna Norton-Baker, Azure Avery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus Citations


Semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotubes (s-SWCNTs) have recently attracted attention for their promise as active components in a variety of optical and electronic applications, including thermoelectricity generation. Here we demonstrate that removing the wrapping polymer from the highly enriched s-SWCNT network leads to substantial improvements in charge carrier transport and thermoelectric power factor. These improvements arise primarily from an increase in charge carrier mobility within the s-SWCNT networks because of removal of the insulating polymer and control of the level of nanotube bundling in the network, which enables higher thin-film conductivity for a given carrier density. Ultimately, these studies demonstrate that highly enriched s-SWCNT thin films, in the complete absence of any accompanying semiconducting polymer, can attain thermoelectric power factors in the range of ∼400 μW m-1 K-2, which is on par with that of some of the best single-component organic thermoelectrics demonstrated to date.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1212-1220
Number of pages9
JournalACS Energy Letters
Issue number6
StatePublished - 9 Dec 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 American Chemical Society.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-66753


  • carbon nanotubes
  • charge carrier transport
  • thermoelectricity


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