Thermoelectrics - Caltech Materials Science
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Group News

Place Holder We Are Moving to Northwestern!

Jeff Snyder will be starting as Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern University during the 2014-2015 academic year. The Snyder Group will continue to specialize in Thermoelectric Materials and Devices as well as expand into other Materials for Energy fields. Interested students are encouraged to apply to the MSE department at Northwestern University ranked #2 in the USA. The Caltech Laboratories will continue to be fully functional while the Northwestern laboratory is being built, with expected operation by March 2015.

Place Holder Heng Wang wins 2014 ITS Goldsmid Award

For his Ph.D. work on Band Engineering and PbSe.

 

Place Holder Alex Zevalkink wins 2013 ITS Goldsmid Award

For her Ph.D. work on new Zintl phase thermoelectric materials. After finishing her Ph.D. at Caltech Alex was a NASA fellow at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

 

Place Holder Yanzhong Pei wins 2013 ITS Young Investigator Award

For his work on band engineering of thermoelectric materials. Former Posdoc Yanzhong Pei (裴艳中) is now Professor of Materials Science at Tonji University in Shanghai China.

 

Place Holder Curiosity Rover Powered by Thermoelectrics Lands on Mars

The newest Mars rover from NASA JPL uses PbTe-based thermoelectrics for power. News and Video

 



Highlights

 


 

Liquid-Like Thermoelectric Materials

Cu2Se Because a liquid does not propagate shear vibrations the thermal conductivity can be less than that of a solid. Using the liquid-like behaviour of superionic conductors and related highly disordered materials extends the phonon-glass electron-crystal concept for the search for new thermoelectrics.

 

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Band Structure Engineering of PbTe based alloys for Thermoelectrics

Place HolderAlloys of PbTe have been used to generate electricity from heat on NASA space missions for 50 years and now are being considered for use on Earth for automotive waste heat recovery. We have demonstrated that the zT of PbTe and PbSe alloys can be tuned to be much better than previously thought possible due, in part, to the exceptionally high valley degeneracy.

 

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Complex Zintl Compounds

Place Holder The rich solid-state chemistry of Zintl phases enables a directed search and optimization of new complex thermoelectric materials. Several new Zintl Compounds have been found with inherently low thermal conductivity and can be doped to have high zT.