N-type organic thermoelectrics: demonstration of ZT > 0.3

Jian Liu, Bas van der Zee, Riccardo Alessandri, Selim Sami, Jingjin Dong, Mohamad I. Nugraha, Alex J. Barker, Sylvia Rousseva, Li Qiu, Xinkai Qiu, Nathalie Klasen, Ryan C. Chiechi, Derya Baran, Mario Caironi, Thomas D. Anthopoulos, Giuseppe Portale, Remco W. A. Havenith, Siewert J. Marrink, Jan C. Hummelen, L. Jan Anton Koster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Scopus citations


The ‘phonon-glass electron-crystal’ concept has triggered most of the progress that has been achieved in inorganic thermoelectrics in the past two decades. Organic thermoelectric materials, unlike their inorganic counterparts, exhibit molecular diversity, flexible mechanical properties and easy fabrication, and are mostly ‘phonon glasses’. However, the thermoelectric performances of these organic materials are largely limited by low molecular order and they are therefore far from being ‘electron crystals’. Here, we report a molecularly n-doped fullerene derivative with meticulous design of the side chain that approaches an organic ‘PGEC’ thermoelectric material. This thermoelectric material exhibits an excellent electrical conductivity of >10 S cm−1 and an ultralow thermal conductivity of
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 10 2020

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-11-12
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): 3737 GRG7
Acknowledgements: This study was supported by a grant from STW/NWO (VIDI 13476). This study is carried out under the auspices of the research program of the Foundation of Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM), which is part of the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO). This is a publication by the FOM Focus Group “Next, Generation Organic Photovoltaics”, participating in the Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research (DIFFER). J.D. acknowledges financial support from the China Scholarship Council. L.Q. thanks National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 51962036) for financial support. D.B. acknowledges financial support from a KAUST Competitive Research Grant (3737 GRG7). Computational resources for this work were partly provided by the Dutch National Supercomputing Facilities through NWO. R.A. and S.S. thank Anna S. Bondarenko and Jordi Antoja-Lleonart for insightful discussions on the simulated scattering spectra.


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