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S6: Thermoelectrics: Defect Chemistry, Doping and Nanoscale Effects


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In order to be useful widespread energy scavenging materials, thermoelectrics must be composed of nontoxic and abundant elements, be stable in air to high temperatures, and display simultaneous large thermopower, large electrical conductivity and low thermal conductivity. Ceramic science may be applied to control electrical and thermal conductivity and to decrease phonon-related thermal transport. Nanostructuring approaches have been adopted in traditional selenide and telluride thermoelectric materials, and are now being extended to novel thermoelectrics. Methods including nanoscale grains, embedded nanoinclusions, interfacial nanocoatings, and lamellar/multilayer structuring have all been utilized for significant thermoelectric property improvements. Similar efforts have recently been proposed for oxide materials, where control of oxygen vacancies, crystal chemistry, and electronically compensating charge carriers have led to ZT values exceeding 0.7. Electrical properties of the thermoelectrics are significantly dependent on the microstructure and defect chemistry of the material. Problems encountered and solutions developed overlap with a broader spectrum of topics such as memristors. This symposium encourages contributions from topics outside the traditional thermoelectrics research to cultivate exchange of ideas relating to the defect chemistry and its relationship to electrical and thermal properties. This symposium is a forum for discussing defect chemistry, conductivity, thermal conductivity optimization and applications for novel thermoelectrics.

Proposed Session Topics

  • Theory and applications
  • Thermoelectric silicides
  • Thermoelectric oxides
  • Novel materials
  • Low dimensional materials and crystal chemistry approaches
  • Nanoscale scattering effects
  • Defects and defect chemistry and their effects on electrical and thermal conductivity
  • Thermophotovoltaics and emerging thermal devices

Session Organizers

  • Alp Sehirlioglu, Case Western Reserve University, USA
  • Antoine Maignan, CRISMAT Laboratory, France
  • Jon Ihlefeld, Sandia National Laboratories, USA
  • Anke Weidenkaff, EMPA, Switzerland

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