Experimental Study of Thermopower of SWCNTs and SiC Nanoparticles with B-P (Born-Phosphorus) Sol-Gel Diffusion

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Materials Research Innovation






Seebeck coefficients of randomly distributed single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) combined with Silicon Carbide (SiC) nanoparticles were experimentally determined. The Seebeck coefficients of pristine SiC/SWCNT samples were compared with those ofSiC/SWCNT samples doped with P-type (Boron) and N-type (Phosphorous) sol–gel dopants. Pristine SiC/SWCNT samples were prepared by depositing SiC nanoparticles and SWCNTs on a non-conductive glass substrate. Doped SiC/SWCNT samples were prepared by coating each half of the samples alternately with B and P sol–gel dopants. Thermoelectric circuits were prepared by creating hot and cold junctions on the P and N-doped ends of the SiC/SWCNT samples with conductive Silver epoxy and Alumel (Ni–Al) wire. Voltage, current and resistance were measured across the samples against temperature difference. The SWCNTs used were approximately 60% semiconducting and 40% metallic. The Seebeck coefficient for pristine SWCNTs was 0.10 ± 0.006 mV per degree Celsius. When diffused with B–P, the Seebeck coefficient increased to 0.308 mV per degree Celsius. Pristine SiC nanoparticles showed no presence of thermoelectric (TE) effect, but substantial TE effects were observed upon inclusion of SWCNTs. Although the samples with various SWCNT compositions showed similar Seebeck coefficients, the current, resistance and power factor (PF) changed accordingly. Resistance of the pristine SWCNTs slightly decreased with increase in temperature. Structure–property relations were determined using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Raman spectroscopy. It was revealed that fibre-like SWCNTs created randomly distributed networks with nano-contact junctions inside the SiC matrix. Diffusion of dopants into CNTs in the doped samples increased the charged carrier concentration enhancing the thermopower of SWCNTs. Analysis of the Raman spectra showed an upshift in the tangential vibrational G-band modes of SWCNTs when doped with an electron-acceptor dopant (Boron), and a downshift in the case of an electron-donor dopant (Phosphorus). Incorporation of the dopant materials in the SWCNT structure was also evidenced by the presence of disorder induced D-band peaks in the doped SWCNTs.