Effects of defects on thermoelectric properties of carbon nanotubes

M Ohnishi and T Shiga and J Shiomi, PHYSICAL REVIEW B, 95, 155405 (2017).

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.95.155405

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have recently attracted attention as materials for flexible thermoelectric devices. To provide a theoretical guideline of how defects influence the thermoelectric performance of CNTs, we theoretically studied the effects of defects (vacancies and Stone-Wales defects) on their thermoelectric properties; thermal conductance, electrical conductance, and Seebeck coefficient. The results revealed that the defects most strongly suppress the electron conductance, and deteriorate the thermoelectric performance of a CNT. By plugging in the results and the intertube-junction properties into the network model, we further show that the defects with realistic concentrations can significantly degrade the thermoelectric performance of CNT-based networks. Our findings indicate the importance of the improvement of crystallinity of CNTs for improving CNT-based thermoelectrics.

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