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Nanofibrillated cellulose aerogels functionalized with conducting polymers for thermoelectric and dual-sensing applications
Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology, Physics and Electronics. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology, Physics and Electronics. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, USA.
Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology, Physics and Electronics. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
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2015 (English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Large amount of heat is wasted in industries, power generation plants and ordinary household appliances. This waste heat, can be a useful input to a thermoelectric generator (TEG) that can convert it to electricity. Conducting polymers (CPs) have been proved as best suited thermoelectric (TE) materials for lower temperatures, being not toxic, abundant in nature and solution processible. So far, CPs have been characterized as thin films, but it needs the third dimension to realize vertical TEGs which is possible by coating it on low thermal conductivity 3D skeletons. In this work, porous bulk cellulose structures have been used as a supporting material and were coated with CPs in various ways. The blend of cellulose and polymer were also freeze-dried, resulting in conducting and soft composites. Those flexible aerogels were utilized as a dual parameter sensor to sense pressure and temperature, based on the concept of thermoelectricity. It opens another application area of sensing, utilizing the thermoelectric phenomenon beyond the prevailing power generation concept. The sensitivity of such materials can be enhanced to make them useful as electronic skin in healthcare and robotics.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015.
National Category
Physical Sciences Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-121981OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-121981DiVA: diva2:860837
Available from: 2015-10-14 Created: 2015-10-14 Last updated: 2015-10-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Thermoelectric Devices with Electronic and Ionic Conducting Polymers
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Thermoelectric Devices with Electronic and Ionic Conducting Polymers
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The energy consumption in the world is continuously growing and the sources of energy are largely dominated by fossil fuels. However, the resources of oil, gas and coal are diminishing in capacity. Moreover the CO2 emissions arising from their combustion is a great concern because it induces climate changes that threaten our habitat. There is a dire need to look for alternative sources of energies and to minimize losses of energy in our surroundings. Heat engines and turbines typically running with fossil energy have efficiencies of about 35%, i.e. 65% of the energy is lost in the form of heat. Low temperature heat (<200 C) is almost always wasted in power plants, industries, automobiles and household appliances. This is a huge resource that can be directly converted to electricity through the concept of thermoelectricity. Major challenges for heat to electricity conversion include finding the abundant materials with efficient thermoelectric (TE) conversion that can be mass produced at low cost.

This thesis presents an investigation of the TE properties of electronic and ionic conducting polymers, as well as their implementation in thermoelectric devices. This is a journey from thin solid films on a substrate to wet and liquid media and towards bulk structures utilizing the same core concept of thermoelectricity. The TE device concepts introduced here are suitable for various heat sources i.e. continuous, intermittent and instantaneous. The thesis has three major parts as follows:

Conducting polymers (CPs) have been studied mainly as thin films. They have been synthesized in different ways and their properties have been compared to propose the most efficient amongst them for thermoelectricity. Simple methods of exposure to certain gases or liquids have been used to tune their TE properties and demonstrated its applications in thermoelectric generator (TEGs).

Ionic materials have also been studied as potential candidates for thermoelectricity. Polyelectrolytes constitute a special class of electrolytes with dissimilar sizes of ions; a polymeric ion and a small counter ion. The movement of the small sodium (Na+) cation under heat gradient was explored in wet films and in solution. Because the ions could not cross the electrolyte-electrode junction, we propose the idea of ionic thermoelectric supercapacitor (ITESC), suitable for intermittent heat source.

Nanofibrillated cellulose (NFC) has been used along with conducting polymers to realize the three dimensional conducting bulks as a TEG leg. NFC bulks were coated with conducting polymers as a first approach and later the mixture of (NFC & CP) was freeze-dried. The later approach resulted in mechanically flexible structures that were used as dual sensors for pressure and temperature based on the TE properties of the CP which can be utilized for electronic skin applications.

The thesis shows new ways of utilizing waste heat using polymeric materials and points to a sensory application area, broadening the horizons of thermoelectricity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2015. 50 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 1709
Keyword
Thermoelectricity, conducting polymers, thermoelectric devices
National Category
Physical Sciences Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-121982 (URN)978-91-7685-931-5 (print) (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-11-12, Resuren (Pronova), Campus Norrköping, Norrköping, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2015-10-14 Created: 2015-10-14 Last updated: 2015-10-14Bibliographically approved

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