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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 713640, 17 pages
Review Article

A Review on the Fabrication of Polymer-Based Thermoelectric Materials and Fabrication Methods

1Department of Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Received 30 August 2013; Accepted 23 September 2013

Academic Editors: O. Gullu and P. Shao

Copyright © 2013 Muhammad Akmal Kamarudin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Thermoelectricity, by converting heat energy directly into useable electricity, offers a promising technology to convert heat from solar energy and to recover waste heat from industrial sectors and automobile exhausts. In recent years, most of the efforts have been done on improving the thermoelectric efficiency using different approaches, that is, nanostructuring, doping, molecular rattling, and nanocomposite formation. The applications of thermoelectric polymers at low temperatures, especially conducting polymers, have shown various advantages such as easy and low cost of fabrication, light weight, and flexibility. In this review, we will focus on exploring new types of polymers and the effects of different structures, concentrations, and molecular weight on thermoelectric properties. Various strategies to improve the performance of thermoelectric materials will be discussed. In addition, a discussion on the fabrication of thermoelectric devices, especially suited to polymers, will also be given. Finally, we provide the challenge and the future of thermoelectric polymers, especially thermoelectric hybrid model.