Electrodeposition of Highly Efficient Nanostructured Thermoelectric Materials

Monday, 6 October 2014: 14:40
Expo Center, 1st Floor, Universal 11 (Moon Palace Resort)
I. Nandhakumar, M. Burton, and N. White (University of Southampton)
There is overwhelming evidence that our increasing consumption of fossil fuels and the associated emission of carbon dioxide is leading to climate change. This has brought new urgency to the development of clean, renewable sources of energy.  Thermoelectric (TE) materials are an important class of materials that can directly convert thermal waste heat into useful electrical energy. With approximately 15 terawatts of available energy being lost to the environment as heat the potential for TE materials in sustainable waste-heat-recovery systems such as TE power generation is huge.  However, barriers exist to the widespread adoption of TE technology which is due to the low efficiency of current TE materials.  Clearly a step change in the cost and performance of TE materials is required to make them more economically viable and to promote their wider adoption in a number of application areas. In the current work we propose to achieve this by  1. employing electrodeposition as a low-cost, low-temperature  route to the fabrication of highly efficient TE materials from, abundant, non-toxic  and cheap materials and by employing soft-template directed nanostructuring to produce TE materials.