Graduation Year

2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.S.

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)

Department

Physics

Degree Granting Department

Physics

Major Professor

Lilia M. Woods, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

George S. Nolas, Ph.D.

Committee Member

George S. Nolas, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Julie P. Harmon, Ph.D.

Keywords

Linear Response, Organic, Thermoelectricity, Transport

Abstract

The possibility of using conducting polymers as organic alternatives to widely used inorganic materials for thermoelectric (TE) applications has received much attention in the past few decades. Since conducting polymers are generally inefficient compared to inorganic TE materials, research into their underlying transport mechanisms is required to improve their efficiency. We use a model based on the effects of local thermal fluctuations to characterize the transport in conducting polymer composites. With this model, full linear responses for the current and electronic heat current are obtained. From these responses, the local temperature dependent conductivity, electronic contribution to the thermal conductivity, and Seebeck coefficient are extracted and related to those of the composite material through an effective medium theory. The resulting simple expressions for the TE transport properties are easy to use and can improve our understanding of transport in conducting polymers. An example of how to use the model is given for a parabolic tunneling barrier and comparisons to experimental data are also provided.

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