All-Organic Textile Thermoelectrics with Carbon-Nanotube-Coated n-Type Yarns
Journal article, 2018

Thermoelectric textiles that are able to generate electricity from heat gradients may find use as power sources for a wide range of miniature wearable electronics. To realize such thermoelectric textiles, both p- and n-type yarns are needed. The realization of air-stable and flexible n-type yarns, i.e., conducting yarns where electrons are the majority charge carriers, presents a considerable challenge due to the scarcity of air-stable n-doped organic materials. Here, we realize such n-type yarns by coating commercial sewing threads with a nanocomposite of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) and poly(N-vinylpyrrolidone) (PVP). Our n-type yarns have a bulk conductivity of 1 S cm -1 and a Seebeck coefficient of -14 μV K -1 , which is stable for several months at ambient conditions. We combine our coated n-type yarns with poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS) dyed silk yarns, constituting the p-type component, to realize a textile thermoelectric module with 38 n/p elements, which are capable of producing an open-circuit voltage of 143 mV when exposed to a temperature gradient of 116 °C and a maximum power output of 7.1 nW at a temperature gradient of 80 °C.

n-type conducting yarn

organic thermoelectrics

carbon nanotubes

electronic textile

polymer nanocomposite


Jason Ryan

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Applied Chemistry, Polymer Technology

Anja Lund

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Applied Chemistry

Anna Isabel Hofmann

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

Renee Kroon

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Applied Chemistry, Christian Müller Group

Ruben Sarabia-Riquelme

University of Kentucky

M. C. Weisenberger

University of Kentucky

Christian Müller

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Applied Chemistry, Christian Müller Group

ACS Applied Energy Materials

25740962 (eISSN)

Vol. 1 6 2934-2941

Woven and 3D-Printed Thermoelectric Textiles (ThermoTex)

European Research Council (ERC), 2015-06-01 -- 2020-06-30.

Subject Categories

Manufacturing, Surface and Joining Technology

Materials Chemistry

Condensed Matter Physics



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