Doping and processing of organic semiconductors for plastic thermoelectrics
Book chapter, 2018

Thermoelectrics currently attracts considerable attention as a promising branch in the field of organic electronics, with the prospect that organic semiconductors (OSCs) allow the development of light, flexible, and inexpensive thermoelectric devices, which act as alternative power sources, generating electricity from heat gradients. Thermoelectric generators are solid-state devices that convert heat directly to electricity. They do not contain any moving parts and are able to operate over an extended period of time, and furthermore can function with small heat sources and limited temperature differences, which facilitates their use in situations where traditional engines are not feasible. The absence of moving parts, low need for maintenance, and a large variety of possible device architectures render organic thermoelectrics attractive for numerous applications, ranging from waste heat recovery to wearable textiles. In this chapter, we give a short introduction to the fundamentals of the thermoelectric effect, as well as to the design principles for thermoelectric generators and their characterization. Furthermore, we discuss the role of doping (i.e., the introduction of charge carriers through the addition of dopant molecules) and of the nanostructure and present strategies for the optimization of the thermoelectric properties of OSCs. Finally, we give an overview of processing methods and point out major achievements, as well as the remaining challenges.

Thermal conductivity


Electronic textile

Conducting polymer

Seebeck coefficient

Bulk processing


Organic thermoelectrics



Anna Hofmann

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Applied Chemistry

Renee Kroon

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Applied Chemistry

Christian Müller

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Applied Chemistry

Handbook of Organic Materials for Electronic and Photonic Devices, Second Edition

9780081022849 (ISBN)

Subject Categories

Energy Engineering

Other Physics Topics

Other Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering



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