Paintable Thermoelectric Materials from Polymer Blends of Exfoliated 2D Nanosheets
This work highlights a method whereby solvent exfoliation of Bi2Te3 into solution-dispersible 2D nanosheets can form a practical thin film that can be distributed across a surface. Optical transmission measurements quantify the relationship between efficient and stable exfoliation and the reduction in optical density. Optimized exfoliated suspension are also shown to form smooth, uniform blends when mixed with poly ethylene glycol and other polymers to produce a paintable Bi2Te3film that can be applied to surfaces using an innovative painting technique.
Atomic force microscopy, transmission electron spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy and scanning electron spectroscopy are used to examine the structure of the 2D nanosheets and the highly reproducible Bi2Te3 thin films. Electrical transport studies show that the films have conductive pathways over a range of surfaces and various structural formations, linking the conductivity to the percolating conduction through the nanosheet ensemble. The combination of the facile preparation method and the scope for diverse surface coating as a cohesive and conductive thin film offers a methods for integration with heat producing devices for energy harvesting applications.
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