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1. (WO2000012600) MATERIAU THERMOELECTRIQUE COMPOSITE
Note: Texte fondé sur des processus automatiques de reconnaissance optique de caractères. Seule la version PDF a une valeur juridique

What is claimed is :

1. A composition of matter comprising a dispersion of nanophase metal particles in a conducting polymer matrix (2).

2. The composition of matter of claim 1 wherein said polymer is a conjugated polymer and wherein the thermoelectric flgure-of-merit (ZT) is greater than 1.0.

3. A thermoelectric cooling and/or heating medium (10) comprising :

i) a dispersion of nanophase metal particles in a conductive polymer matrix (2);

ii) said conductive polymer characterized by a high inherent Seebeck coefficient (S) and a low inherent thermal conductivity; and

iii) an effective amount of said nanophase metal particles effectively dispersed into and intimately associated with said polymer to establish a nanophase
metal/polymer, thermoelectric composite material (2),

whereby the electrical conductivity of said nanophase metal/polymer composite material (2) is substantially increased without significant change in either said thermal conductivity or said Seebeck coefficient (S).

4. The composite material (2) of claim 3 wherein said polymer is a conjugated polymer and is selected from the group consisting of polythiophene, polyaniline, polypyrolle, polyacetylene, and their substituted derivatives and the thermoelectric figure-of-merit is greater than 1.0.

5. The composite material (2) of claim 4 wherein said polymer is poly(3-octyi-thiophene- 2,5-diyl) and wherein said polymer is regio-regular.

6. The composite material (2) of claim 3 wherein said nanophase metal particles are selected from the group consisting of silver, copper, platinum, palladium, aluminum, chromium, iron, antimony, tin, tantulum, and gold.

7. The composite material (2) of claim 6 wherein said nanophase metal particles and mixtures thereof comprise nanophase silver particles made by the inert-gas-condensation process and wherein said effective amount of said metal particles has a concentration of about 0.1 volume percent to about 34 volume percent.

8. The composite material (2) of claim 7 wherein said volume percent ranges from about 0.1 to about 10 volume percent.

9. A composition of matter comprising a dispersion of nanophase metal particles in a matrix selected from the group comprising crystalline polymers, amorphous polymers, metals and dielectrics, said particles being intimately associated with the monomeric units of the polymers or intimately associated with the grains of said metals or the crystallites of said dielectrics.

10.. The composition of matter of claim 9 wherein said polymer is a conducting, conjugated polymer and wherein the thermoelectric figure-of-merit (ZT ) is greater than 1.0.

1 1. A method of making a composition of matter characterized by a thermoelectric figure-of-merit (ZT) greater than 1.0 comprising effective mixing of nanophase metal particles into a polymeric matrix characterized by a Seebeck coefficient greater than 100 and wherein said effective mixing is carried out while said polymeric matrix is dissolved by a solvent into a solution and said solvent is removed to form said composition of matter and further comprising providing as said polymeric matrix a polymer selected from the group consisting of polythiophene, polyaniline, polypyrolle, polyacetylene, and their substituted derivatives, dissolving said polymer in an effective solvent producing a solution and effectively mixing therein an effective amount of a nanophase metal powder selected from the group consisting of silver, copper, platinum, palladium, aluminum, tantalum, chromium, iron, antimony, tin, gold, and mixtures thereof and removing said solvent to form said composition of matter.

12. The method of claim 11 wherein said composition of matter is formed on a solid surface (14) and further comprising stopping said solvent removal when a spreadable, viscous mass has formed, spreading said mass in a layer on said said surface (14) and, optionally, further comprising providing a plurality of said dry layers on a plurality of said surfaces, removing said dry layers from said surfaces, stacking a selected number of said removed layers to a selected thickness, heating said thickness to the melting temperature of said polymer, mixing, and annealing to form a solid article of
manufacture ( 10) of said composition of matter.

13.. A thermoelectric device (10 comprising :

i) at least one thermally conductive substrate ( 4 or 8);

ii) a layer of selected thickness of the thermoelectric
composite material (2) of claim 3, at least one side of said
layer being in heat transfer contact with said at least one
substrate (4 or 8).

14. The device ( 10) of claim 13 wherein the thermoelectric figure-of-merit (ZT)of said composite material is greater than 1.0 and wherein said material comprises a polymeric matrix selected from the group consisting of polythiophene, polyaniline, polypyrolle, polyacetylene and their substituted derivatives and wherein there are dispersed therein nanophase metal particles selected from the group consisting of silver, copper, platinum, palladium, aluminum, tantalum, chromium, iron, antimony, tin, gold, and mixtures thereof in an effective amount of said metal particles comprising a concentration of about 0.1 volume percent to about 34 volume percent and preferably an effective amount of said metal powder having a concentration of about 0.1 volume percent to about 10 volume percent.

15. The device (10) of claim 13 wherein said at least one thermally conductive substrate (4 or 8) is metal and wherein said thermally conductive metal substrate 4 or 8) is copper and wherein said at least one substrate (4 or 8) is coated with diamond or diamond-like material (6).

16. The device (10) of claim 13 wherein said thermoelectric composite material layer (2) is in contact with substrates (4, 8) on opposing sides thereof and wherein said substrates (4, 8) are coated with diamond or diamond-like materials ( 6) and wherein said polymer in said composite material (2) comprises poly(3-octylthiophene-2,5-diyl) and said nanophase particles comprise nanophase silver particles made by the inert-gas-condensation process and wherein said polymer comprises a regio-regular poly(3-octylthiophene-2,5-diyl). are inserted into said thermoelectric composite material ( 2) on opposing sides thereof while said material ( 2) is in a non-solid state.

17. The device (10) of claim 13 wherein electrodes (12) are inserted into said thermoelectric composite maaterial (2) on opposing sides thereof while said material (2) is in a non-solid state.