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S5: Materials Challenges in Direct Thermal-to-Electrical Energy Conversion and Thermal Energy Harnessing for Efficient Innovative Applications

Harnessing thermal energy is one of the ultimate goals in science and technology in our modern society. Challenges in materials design and synthesis have always been a key to exploit heat by direct thermal-to-electrical energy conversion and related technologies. Recent advances in nanotechnology have elicited unconventional thermal transport across nanostructured materials and nano-interfaces, opening a new direction to harness thermal energy. This symposium will highlight a combination of new ideas, new materials, and device concepts by focusing on novel processing and synthesis methods, materials, technologies, and applications related to direct thermal-to-electrical energy conversion and thermal energy harnessing. With a focus on thermoelectrics and thermionics and emphasizing thermal, electrical, and mechanical properties of new materials, and processing of those materials into device structures, this symposium will also highlight theoretical insight and materials innovations in unconventional heat transfer with higher efficiency in thermal energy harvesting and heat management.


The symposium includes theoretical studies of material transport properties, band structure, crystal chemistry, thermodynamic analysis, and energy transfer. Experimental efforts will include new capabilities in solid-state synthesis, bulk materials, thin films, superlattices, nano-interfaces, and nanostructured materials, including recent advances in nanocomposites (nanomaterials or inherent nanostructures in bulk thermoelectric material matrices). It will also highlight advances in phonon engineering, phase transformation, thermal conductivity switching, and defect engineering in inorganic and organic solids. New developments in material property and device performance measurements and metrology will also be presented.


Session topics

  • High-efficiency bulk thermoelectric materials
  • Nanoscale thermoelectric materials
  • Theoretical guidance to high-efficiency thermoelectric energy conversion
  • Oxides and other materials with strong electron correlation
  • New and emerging technologies for thermoelectric power conversion
  • Thermoelectrics for harvesting solar and unused waste heat energy
  • Thermionics and other related topics
  • Synthetic strategies for preparing novel materials and compounds
  • Thermoelectric nanocomposite materials
  • Processing of bulk and thin-film nanostructured materials
  • New ideas, new materials, and device concepts for thermal energy harnessing
  • Phonon engineering and emerging thermal transport technologies
  • Phonon transmission and scattering across nano-interfaces
  • Materials property measurement and new metrology techniques
  • Design, performance testing, fabrication, and processing of energy conversion devices
  • Device performance requirements for future applications




Michitaka Ohtaki, Kyushu University, Japan, ohtaki@kyudai.jp

Terry M. Tritt, Clemson University, USA, ttritt@clemson.edu

Min-Wook Oh, Hanbat National University, Korea, mwoh@hanbat.ac.kr

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