What is Thermoelectric Energy Conversion?



Thermoelectric energy conversion is a solid-state technology that converts heat into electricity. With this technology, waste heat from heat engines in vehicles or power plants can be partially recovered to generate extra electric power, thereby increasing the energy efficiency. When used on human body, human body-heat can be converted into electricity as well, which might be sufficient to power a small bio-medical sensor. You won't need a battery to power those devices anymore! For more information, read our recent review paper on wearable thermoelectric energy harvesting.

Another great example of utilizing thermoelectric energy conversion technology is Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG) used in space probes such as Cassini and New Horizons. Find more information on the wikipedia page.

Thermoelectric devices have unique advantages such as
-  no moving parts, therefore noiseless and robust
-  directly converting heat to electricity or vice versa with no fluid involved
-  can be made flexible to conformally attach onto a curved surface
-  can be made very small at the micro/nano-scale with very high cooling power density


Our group is dedicated to


- Discovering new efficient thermoelectric materials based on inorganic, organic semiconductors and their composites

- Fabricating large-scale thermoelectric energy conversion modules as well as microscale thermoelectric power generator and cooler devices

- Developing new additive manufacturing techniques such as 3D printing for scalable production of thermoelectric modules and systems

- Studying the fundamental physics behind electron and thermal transport in nano/micro-scale materials and devices


Please view the following YouTube videos for our ultra-fast transient thermal imaging results of micro-heater lines.
 
Group News

Oct. 19, 2017
Shriram has joined the TE lab as a master student in EE. Welcome!

Oct. 1, 2017
Dr. Bahk has started serving as an editorial board member for MDPI Electronics journal

Jun. 30, 2017
Dr. Bahk gave a seminar talk about wearable flexible TE energy harvesters at AFRL/RX, Soft Matter Materials Branch at Wright Patterson, OH.  

Jun. 26, 2017
Dr. Bahk gave an invited talk at TFE3S international workshop held at UDRI, Dayton, OH. 

May 23, 2017
Dr. Kaz Yazawa from Birck Nanotech Center, Purdue Univ. visited the TE lab for an invited talk and research discussion. 

May 1, 2017
Radhika passed her PhD dissertation proposal defense with a great success. She has become a PhD candidate as of today. Congrats!

Mar. 8, 2017
Our collaboration work with Profs. Yue Wu (Iowa State) and Jeff Snyder (Northwestern) groups on PbTe-BiSbTe thermoelectric nanocomposites Biao Xu et al. has been selected as the inside front cover of Advanced Materials vol. 29 issue 10.

Jan. 2017
Three graduate students, Darpan, Pradeep, and Erik have newly joined the TE lab in Spring 2017.
Welcome All!

Jan. 1, 2017
Happy New Year 2017.

More group news...

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