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Thermoelectric Materials

Category: Research Interests

We have a vast (over 30 years) experience in  Thermoelectric Materials:

  • Growing materials with various techniques and especially materials for thermoelectric applications
  • Studying their properties
  • Applying them in devices 


A brief list of the synthesis techniques that we are using in our group can be found bellow.

 

Synthesis and Processing

  • Synthesis from melt using vertical and horizontal furnaces - Bridgmann technique (that is applied in the synthesis of Mg2Si) 
  • Planetary Ball Milling systems (low and high speeds - up to 1200rpm) for mechanical alloying, for the synthesis of thermoelectric materials.
  • Hot press system (up to 2000C) under controlled atmosphere applied in materials 

Also, we are characterizing our thermoelectric materials by different methods, at the beginning as materials:

  • XRD, and X-Ray tomography.
  • TEM (including HRTEM) and SEM, including EDS and WDS (Wavelength Dispersive Spectroscopy)
  • Thermal analysis methods (DTA, DSC, TG).
  • IR Reflectivity measurements, including micro-IR.

We measure their thermoelectric characteristics:

  • Conductivity measurements (at 20K-800K).
  • Hall effect measurements up to 2T (at 20K-800K).
  • Seebeck coefficient measurements (at 80K-700K).
  • Thermal Conductivity measurements (up to 1350K) based on laser flash technique.


We are testing our materials in devices:

  • TE module performance characterization at different loads and various temperatures (currently up to 400C but easily expandable to 600C).
  • AC impedance measurements at the frequency range 0.1mHz-10MHz.

TE module fabrication, which includes

  • Fabrication of TE-legs from powders using the Hot Press.
  • Module design and assembling.
  • Thermal evaporator for contacts, etc.

List of funded research projects in that topic

  1. High Temperature Nanocomposite Materials for Thermoelectric Power Generation (THERMO-PRESS) - Cyprus Research Promotion Foundation (2009-2013)
  2. Optimized Thermoelectric Nanocomposites (ΝΑΝΟ-THERM) - Cyprus Research Promotion Foundation, PENEK (2009-2012)
  3. International Cooperation Programme "Greece-USA" - "Application of Advanced Materials Thermoelectric Technology in the Recovery of Wasted Heat from automobile exhaust systems." (2006-08)  
  4. European Territorial Cooperation Programme "Greece-Chech Republic" - "Optimization of materials for use in thermoelectric applications: Study of the post-growth modifications introduced by intercalation" (1999-2000)
  5. European Commission Research Training Networks - "ThermoPhotoVoltaic cell based on GaSb" (2001-2005), http://tpvcell.hmg.inpg.fr/participants.html
  6. EPET II (Project 97ΕΚΒΑΝ2 #30#) - “New Generation Sensors and Devices Radiation for digital real-time imaging. Applications in Airport Security.”(1998 - 2001).
  7. European Commission funded project - "Nanostructured energy-harvesting thermoelectrics based on Mg2Si" (2011-2014)