A New Class of High Z Nanocrystalline and Textured Oxide-Based Thermoelectric Material
We propose to develop high figure of merit (ZT) oxide-based thermoelectric materials. This will be accomplished by engineering a novel microstructure that will lead to reduced lattice thermal conductivity, a large Seebeck coefficient and high electronic conductivity. A new processing route to achieve the desired microstructure is proposed, which builds upon our core competency in nanomaterials synthesis and processing. The proposed oxide materials can be used at higher temperatures than currently available non-oxide based thermoelectrics. The Phase I effort, a collaboration with a leading thermoelectrics research group in the United States, will demonstrate the feasibility of fabricating a dense oxide leg with high ZT and conversion efficiency at elevated temperatures. Prototype thermoelectric devices using p- and n- oxide legs will be fabricated and tested, and efforts will be undertaken to transition the technology into the commercial arena, especially in industrial waste heat recovery.
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