Conducting Foams and Fibres for Bulk Plastic Thermoelectrics
Doktorsavhandling, 2018

The use of small portable electronics in society is constantly increasing, thus the demand for portable power sources also rises in turn. Portable electronic devices rely upon energy stored in batteries to power them, which in turn require regular access to power outlets to be recharged. The development of organic thermoelectric materials is one potential solution towards charging devices, such as sensors and ID tags, whilst the user is mobile.

This thesis discusses thermoelectrics in the context of organics, specifically the development of materials with bulk architectures, where conjugated polymers have been used to attain functioning conducting systems. We present conducting p-type silk and n-type polyester based yarns which could ultimately prove useful for drawing upon waste heat energy from the human body, for example in the form of clothing. Additionally, foams have been developed which offer low thermal conductivities, ease of doping and comparable thermoelectric performances c.f thick films considering the amount of material present. We have also demonstrated a nanocomposite system which can be switched from p-type to n-type when irradiated with UV light, which lends itself as an ink that allows for patterning during printing.

Textile devices have been fabricated based upon p-type silk yarn dyed with PEDOT:PSS, which were further enhanced with n-type polyester yarn coated with a carbon nanotube composite, to produce an all-organic device which produces promising results in terms of thermoelectric output, offering an exciting direction  for the growing field of organic thermoelectrics.



renewable energy

conducting yarn


conjugated polymers

organic thermoelectrics

electronic textiles

polymer foams

conducting fibres

KA, Chemistry Building
Opponent: Martin Heeney, Imperial University, England


Jason Ryan

Chalmers, Kemi och kemiteknik, Tillämpad kemi

Bulk Doping of Millimeter-Thick Conjugated Polymer Foams for Plastic Thermoelectrics

Advanced Functional Materials,; Vol. 27(2017)

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift

Photoinduced p- to n-type Switching in Thermoelectric Polymer-Carbon Nanotube Composites

Advanced Materials,; Vol. 28(2016)p. 2782-2789

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift

Machine-Washable PEDOT:PSS Dyed Silk Yarns for Electronic Textiles

ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces,; Vol. 9(2017)p. 9045-9050

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift

Ryan, J. Lund, A. Hofmann, A. Kroon, R. Saraia-Riquelme, R. Weisenberger, M. Müller, C. All-organic textile thermoelectrics with carbon nanotube coated n-type yarns

As technology becomes increasingly integrated into our lives, with small portable electronic devices becoming more commonplace, so too rises the need for portable power sources. Thermoelectrics, which is simply the conversion of waste heat into usable electrical energy, offers itself as one potential solution towards portable energy demand. Here explored is the use of plastics to create green, renewable energy.

A particularly promising method to incorporate thermoelectric materials into our day-to-day lives is via integration into textiles. This thesis explores these textiles in the form of yarn, which are stitched to create devices capable of harnessing waste heat energy. These textile based energy harvesters can then supply power to devices such as ID tags and sensors, contributing towards powering the ‘internet of things’.

Aside from textiles, the fundamentals of a thermoelectric material system is explored, namely, a novel system that could lend itself towards large scale printing, to allow for folded thermoelectric harvesters to be made en-masse.

Another focus is the use of material that has been foamed (material with connected air pockets introduced, much like a kitchen sponge) to allow for efficient access to the entire material via the air pockets, so the material can be altered with chemicals that enhance the thermoelectric performance. In a non-foamed material, it is very difficult to access the whole material.


Textil-, gummi- och polymermaterial


Annan fysik



Doktorsavhandlingar vid Chalmers tekniska högskola. Ny serie: 4434



KA, Chemistry Building

Opponent: Martin Heeney, Imperial University, England

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