Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 54, Issue 11, pp 8187–8201 | Cite as

Conductive nanofilm/melamine foam hybrid thermoelectric as a thermal insulator generating electricity: theoretical analysis and development

  • Warittha Thongkham
  • Charoenporn Lertsatitthanakorn
  • Manit Jitpukdee
  • Kanpitcha Jiramitmongkon
  • Paisan KhanchaititEmail author
  • Monrudee LiangruksaEmail author
Chemical routes to materials


Harvesting waste energy through thermoelectric has widely gained attention to aid green energy production. Current efforts are to take advantages of nanomaterials and nanosystems because of dramatic improvements in the performance. However, its cost-effectiveness in generating a 3D configuration for a large-area use is hindered by high production cost. To overcome the present challenges, we propose a flexible and lightweight thermoelectric developed on a melamine foam using a simple dip-dry technique to self-assemble conductive nanofilms in the scaffold. Different amounts of poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):polystyrenesulfonate (PEDOT:PSS) conductive nanofilms were variedly fabricated in the foam due to altered amounts of sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) surfactant from 0 to 5 wt%. Together with experimental results, a theoretical model was constructed to predict thermal and electrical conductivities, indicating the strong influence of SDS to the electrical conductivity. As a result, the highest nanofilm formation in the foam structure is achieved by adding SDS at 3 wt%. The figure of merit (ZT) of thermoelectric foam is about 0.006–0.007. Our first device was also demonstrated with output voltage of 1.1 mV (ΔT = 40 K). The present study could provide the design and optimization of a hybrid thermoelectric that can act as a simultaneous thermal insulator and power generator.



This research has received financial support from the Thailand Graduate Institute of Science and Technology (TGIST). The scholar student ID is TG-55-20-57-052D, and the grant number is TGIST 01-57-052. The authors gratefully acknowledge the National Nanotechnology Center (NANOTEC), National Metal and Materials Technology Center (MTEC), and Nanotechnology Research Center (TNRC) at Department of Physics, Faculty of Science, Rajamangala University of Technology Suvarnabhumi for the access to the equipment and facilities. We would also like to thank the Integrated Nanosystem Laboratory (INS) members for their help and suggestion in this research and Prof. Supapan Seraphin for a fruitful discussion.

Supplementary material

10853_2019_3480_MOESM1_ESM.doc (7.2 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 7373 kb)


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Energy Technology Division, School of Energy, Environment and MaterialsKing Mongkut’s University of Technology ThonburiBangkokThailand
  2. 2.Department of Applied Radiation and Isotopes, Faculty of ScienceKasetsart UniversityBangkokThailand
  3. 3.National Nanotechnology Center (NANOTEC)National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA)Khlong LuangThailand

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