Paper by HFA Associated Fellow Shu-Jen Wang published in the Science Advances
Can you imagine charging your mobile phone by simply using your body heat? It may still sound rather futuristic, but thermo electrics is a promising research field. Thermo electrics is all about transforming heat into useful energy, mostly using inorganic materials.
Because of their mechanical flexibility, light-weight and low thermal conductivity, organic semiconductors have emerged as a promising material system especially for flexible thermoelectric applications. Efficient doping for charge-carrier creation is the key in thermoelectric device performance. Conventional bulk doping typically introduces disorder at high doping concentration limiting the electrical conductivity.
The team, led by Hector Fellow Karl Leo, was able to achieve significantly better results with the modulation-doping approach than with conventional bulk doping. “The main advantage of the modulation-doping technique is the avoidance of ionized impurity scattering in the highly ordered undoped narrow bandgap semiconductor allowing both carrier concentration and mobility to be independently maximized,” states Shu-Jen Wang, Associated Fellow at the Hector Fellow Academy and first author of the paper. Prof. Karl Leo adds: “Our work paves new ways to achieve flexible thermoelectric devices which allow to directly generate electrical power from heat in an elegant and efficient way.
Congratulations to Shu-Jen Wang!