Paper Thermoelectrics: Merging Nanotechnology with Naturally Abundant Fibrous Material

Chengjun Sun, Amir Hossein Goharpey, Ayush Rai, Teng Zhang, Dong Kyun Ko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The development of paper-based sensors, antennas, and energy-harvesting devices can transform the way electronic devices are manufactured and used. Herein we describe an approach to fabricate paper thermoelectric generators for the first time by directly impregnating naturally abundant cellulose materials with p- or n-type colloidal semiconductor quantum dots. We investigate Seebeck coefficients and electrical conductivities as a function of temperature between 300 and 400 K as well as in-plane thermal conductivities using Angstrom's method. We further demonstrate equipment-free fabrication of flexible thermoelectric modules using p- and n-type paper strips. Leveraged by paper's inherently low thermal conductivity and high flexibility, these paper modules have the potential to efficiently utilize heat available in natural and man-made environments by maximizing the thermal contact to heat sources of arbitrary geometry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22182-22189
Number of pages8
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number34
StatePublished - Aug 31 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science


  • colloidal quantum dots
  • energy harvesting
  • nanocomposites
  • paper electronics
  • thermoelectrics


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