Organic and Hybrid Thermoelectrics
For decades, the field of thermoelectricity has been dominated by inorganic materials. The demonstration of reasonably stable polymer-based materials with a figure of merit of 0.1 and above has triggered considerable interest in organic and hybrid thermoelectric materials during the last 10 years. Materials of current interest include both small-molecule and polymeric semiconductors, carbonaceous nanoparticles such as carbon nanotubes, graphene and graphene oxide, as well as composite materials of organic or inorganic nanoparticles embedded in a polymer matrix. However, these materials pose numerous fundamental challenges with regard to their thermoelectric properties in relation to processing and doping, molecular and solid-state structures as well as electronic properties. Key aspects of current interest for the community concern (1) the synthesis of tailor-made materials, (2) doping mechanisms of both n- and p-type materials, (3) the interplay of the rich nano- and microstructure with charge and heat transport, as well as (4) the environmental and thermal stability of novel materials. New device architectures and device concepts such as flexible thermoelectric generators printed on plastic foils or integrated into textile substrates are now accessible thanks to the inherent mechanical robustness of polymers. This special topical issue will bring together the scientific actors in the field and assess recent progress in organic and hybrid thermoelectrics.
Guest Editors: Christian Müller, Martin Brinkmann, Martijn Kemerink, and Michael Chabinyc