Thermoelectric properties and performance of flexible reduced graphene oxide films up to 3,000 K

  • Nature Energyvolume 3pages148156 (2018)
  • doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0086-3
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The development of ultrahigh-temperature thermoelectric materials could enable thermoelectric topping of combustion power cycles as well as extending the range of direct thermoelectric power generation in concentrated solar power. However, thermoelectric operation temperatures have been restricted to under 1,500 K due to the lack of suitable materials. Here, we demonstrate a thermoelectric conversion material based on high-temperature reduced graphene oxide nanosheets that can perform reliably up to 3,000 K. After a reduction treatment at 3,300 K, the nanosheet film exhibits an increased conductivity to ~4,000 S cm−1 at 3,000 K and a high power factor S2σ = 54.5 µW cm−1 K−2. We report measurements characterizing the film’s thermoelectric properties up to 3,000 K. The reduced graphene oxide film also exhibits a high broadband radiation absorbance and can act as both a radiative receiver and a thermoelectric generator. The printable, lightweight and flexible film is attractive for system integration and scalable manufacturing.

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We acknowledge the Dean’s support from the University of Maryland, which was used to set up our experimental equipment. The constructive discussions with J. P. Heremans as well as use of the probe station in A. Shakouri’s laboratory to measure room-temperature thermal conductivity were greatly appreciated. A.D.P. acknowledges the support provided by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. S.D.L. acknowledges the support by the Department of Defense (DoD) through the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship Program. M.S.F. is supported by an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellowship.

Authors contributions

T.L., D.H.D. and L.H. conceived the idea. T.L., Y.Y., Y.C., S.D.L., Y.L., J.D. and Y.W. contributed to material preparation and characterization. A.D.P., Y.Z., C.D., A.M., T.L. and B.Y. contributed to the characterization and analysis of thermal properties. T.L., Y.W., M.S.F. and D.H.D. contributed to the characterization and analysis of electrical properties. All authors contributed to writing.

Author information


  1. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Maryland College Park, College Park, MD, USA

    • Tian Li
    • , Yonggang Yao
    • , Yanan Chen
    • , Steven D. Lacey
    • , Yiju Li
    • , Yilin Wang
    • , Jiaqi Dai
    • , Yanbin Wang
    •  & Liangbing Hu
  2. Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA

    • Andrea D. Pickel
    •  & Chris Dames
  3. School of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA

    • Yuqiang Zeng
    •  & Amy Marconnet
  4. Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland College Park, College Park, MD, USA

    • Bao Yang
  5. School of Physics and Astronomy, and Monash Centre for Atomically Thin Materials, Monash University, Monash, VIC, Australia

    • Michael S. Fuhrer
  6. Materials Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, USA

    • Chris Dames
  7. Department of Physics, University of Maryland College Park, College Park, MD, USA

    • Dennis H. Drew


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Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Dennis H. Drew or Liangbing Hu.

Supplementary information

  1. Supplementary Information

    Supplementary Discussion 1–6 and Supplementary Figure 1–13