Advanced Materials: TechConnect Briefs 2015Advanced Materials TechConnect Briefs 2015

Nanocomposite Materials Chapter 6

Influence of CNT concentrations to polyurethane / multi-walled carbon nanotube composites on the thermoelectric performance

Q. Wu, J. Hu
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong

pp. 396 - 399

Keywords: thermoelectric, polyurethane, carbon nanotube, nanocomposites

In this paper, we investigated the possibility of applying polyurethane in thermoelectric application, and the influence of MWNT concentrations to polyurethane / multi-walled carbon nanotube composites on the thermoelectric performance. Polyurethane was used as the polymer matrix to provide low thermal conductivity, and multi-walled carbon nanotube was introduced to increase the electrical conductivity. The composites were prepared by solution blending method. Different MWNT concentrations from 5% to 60% were added into the polyurethane matrix to find out the optimal MWNT contents. The electrical conductivity, Seebeck coefficient and thermal conductivity of the prepared composites were measured. The electrical conductivity was increased with the addition of more MWNTs. The Seebeck coefficient decreased slightly with the increase of the MWNT loading, but the overall Seebeck coefficient of the composites is still in the same level. The thermal conductivities increased with the addition of more MWNTs. A reasonable Seebeck coefficient of ~33μV/K suggested that polyurethane can be used in thermoelectric application. Although the thermoelectric performance of these composites is much lower than the traditional inorganic thermoelectric materials and some other conductive polymers, these flexible and stretchable composite films could be used for some special applications where flexibility and stretchability are needed.