Carrier Scattering at Alloy Nanointerfaces Enhances Power Factor in PEDOT:PSS Hybrid Thermoelectrics

Edmond W. Zaia, Ayaskanta Sahu, Preston Zhou, Madeleine P. Gordon, Jason D. Forster, Shaul Aloni, Yi Sheng Liu, Jinghua Guo, Jeffrey J. Urban

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This work demonstrates the first method for controlled growth of heterostructures within hybrid organic/inorganic nanocomposite thermoelectrics. Using a facile, aqueous technique, semimetal-alloy nanointerfaces are patterned within a hybrid thermoelectric system consisting of tellurium (Te) nanowires and the conducting polymer poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(styrene-sulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS). Specifically, this method is used to grow nanoscale islands of Cu1.75Te alloy subphases within hybrid PEDOT:PSS-Te nanowires. This technique is shown to provide tunability of thermoelectric and electronic properties, providing up to 22% enhancement of the system's power factor in the low-doping regime, consistent with preferential scattering of low energy carriers. This work provides an exciting platform for rational design of multiphase nanocomposites and highlights the potential for engineering of carrier filtering within hybrid thermoelectrics via introduction of interfaces with controlled structural and energetic properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3352-3359
Number of pages8
JournalNano Letters
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 11 2016


  • Thermoelectric
  • carrier scattering
  • conducting polymer
  • heterostructure
  • nanocomposite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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