Special Issue "Nanostructured Materials for Thermoelectrics"

A special issue of Nanomaterials (ISSN 2079-4991).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Andreu Cabot

1. Catalonia Institute for Energy Research - IREC, Jardins de les Dones de Negre 1, Pl 2, 08930, Sant Adria de Besos, Barcelona, Spain
2. ICREA, Pg. Lluís Companys 23, 08010 Barcelona, Spain
Website 1 | Website 2 | E-Mail
Phone: +34625615115
Interests: nanomaterials, nanotechnology, energy, photovoltaics, thermoelectrics, catalysis, photocatalysis, colloids
Guest Editor
Prof. Doris Cadavid

Department of Physics, National University of Colombia, Cra. 30 No. 45 - 03, 111321 Ciudad Universitaria, Bogotá́, Colombia
Website | E-Mail
Interests: energy conversion; thermoelectricity; nanostructuration; transport properties; green synthesis
Guest Editor
Prof. Maria Ibáñez

Institute of Science and Technology of Austria, Am Campus 1, 3400 Klosterneuburg, Austria
Website | E-Mail
Interests: material science; energy; thermoelectricity; nanocrystals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Thermoelectric devices, allowing the solid-state and reversible conversion between heat and electricity, offer numerous advantages over competing technologies in the fields of temperature control and thermal energy harvesting. Accordingly, countless applications of this technology have been proposed. However, most of them have yet to be successfully commercialized due to the low cost-effectiveness of current thermoelectric devices. Recently, nanomaterials and particularly nanocomposites have revolutionized the field of thermoelectrics, enabling the design of improved thermoelectric materials and devices. Thermoelectric performance can be improved upon nanostructuration by increasing electrical conductivity through modulation doping, decreasing thermal conductivity though scattering of phonons and minority charge carriers, and increasing the Seebeck coefficient by optimizing the density of states or filtering charge carriers according to their sign and energy. Additionally, nanomaterials have associated more favorable mechanical properties as grain boundaries disrupt the motion of dislocations. This Special Issue of Nanomaterials aims at gathering full papers, communications and comprehensive review articles that cover the whole spectrum of advantages of nanostructuration in the field of thermoelectrics. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Nanomaterials and nanocomposite synthetic protocols
  • Generation of crystallographically textured polycrystalline materials
  • Heat and electronic transport in nanomaterials
  • Modulation doping
  • Energy filtering
  • Nanomaterial-based thermoelectric devices
  • Single nanostructure thermoelectric devices

Prof. Andreu Cabot
Prof. Maria Ibáñez
Prof. Doris Cadavid
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Nanomaterials
  • Nanocomposites
  • Heat transport
  • Modulation doping
  • Energy filtering
  • Thermoelectricity
  • Crystallographic texture
  • Semiconductors
  • Energy
  • Energy harvesting

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessCommunication
Effect of the Order-Disorder Transition on the Seebeck Coefficient of Nanostructured Thermoelectric Cu2ZnSnS4
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(5), 762; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9050762
Received: 23 April 2019 / Revised: 7 May 2019 / Accepted: 13 May 2019 / Published: 17 May 2019
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Abstract
Bulk samples of kesterite (Cu2ZnSnS4, CZTS) were produced by cold-pressing and sintering of CZTS powders obtained via reactive ball-milling. An increase in the Seebeck coefficient of more than 100 μV/K, almost doubling the expected value, is noticed around [...] Read more.
Bulk samples of kesterite (Cu2ZnSnS4, CZTS) were produced by cold-pressing and sintering of CZTS powders obtained via reactive ball-milling. An increase in the Seebeck coefficient of more than 100 μV/K, almost doubling the expected value, is noticed around a temperature of 260 °C. As pointed out by thermal analyses, this is due to a second order transition of kesterite from an ordered I-4 to a disordered I-42m crystal structure. Conversely to what happens for solar cell materials, where the transition is considered to be detrimental for the performance, it appears to be beneficial for the thermoelectric Seebeck coefficient, suggesting that higher crystal symmetry and cation-disorder due to the transition lead to thermopower enhancement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanostructured Materials for Thermoelectrics)
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Open AccessArticle
Thermoelectric Inversion in a Resonant Quantum Dot-Cavity System in the Steady-State Regime
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(5), 741; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9050741
Received: 8 April 2019 / Revised: 5 May 2019 / Accepted: 7 May 2019 / Published: 14 May 2019
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Abstract
We theoretically investigate thermoelectric effects in a quantum dot system under the influence of a linearly polarized photon field confined to a 3D cavity. A temperature gradient is applied to the system via two electron reservoirs that are connected to each end of [...] Read more.
We theoretically investigate thermoelectric effects in a quantum dot system under the influence of a linearly polarized photon field confined to a 3D cavity. A temperature gradient is applied to the system via two electron reservoirs that are connected to each end of the quantum dot system. The thermoelectric current in the steady state is explored using a quantum master equation. In the presence of the quantized photons, extra channels, the photon replica states, are formed generating a photon-induced thermoelectric current. We observe that the photon replica states contribute to the transport irrespective of the direction of the thermal gradient. In the off-resonance regime, when the energy difference between the lowest states of the quantum dot system is smaller than the photon energy, the thermoelectric current is almost blocked and a plateau is seen in the thermoelectric current for strong electron–photon coupling strength. In the resonant regime, an inversion of thermoelectric current emerges due to the Rabi-splitting. Therefore, the photon field can change both the magnitude and the sign of the thermoelectric current induced by the temperature gradient in the absence of a voltage bias between the leads. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanostructured Materials for Thermoelectrics)
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Open AccessArticle
Measuring Device and Material ZT in a Thin-Film Si-Based Thermoelectric Microgenerator
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(4), 653; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9040653
Received: 31 March 2019 / Revised: 13 April 2019 / Accepted: 17 April 2019 / Published: 24 April 2019
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Abstract
Thermoelectricity (TE) is proving to be a promising way to harvest energy for small applications and to produce a new range of thermal sensors. Recently, several thermoelectric generators (TEGs) based on nanomaterials have been developed, outperforming the efficiencies of many previous bulk generators. [...] Read more.
Thermoelectricity (TE) is proving to be a promising way to harvest energy for small applications and to produce a new range of thermal sensors. Recently, several thermoelectric generators (TEGs) based on nanomaterials have been developed, outperforming the efficiencies of many previous bulk generators. Here, we presented the thermoelectric characterization at different temperatures (from 50 to 350 K) of the Si thin-film based on Phosphorous (n) and Boron (p) doped thermocouples that conform to a planar micro TEG. The thermocouples were defined through selective doping by ion implantation, using boron and phosphorous, on a 100 nm thin Si film. The thermal conductivity, the Seebeck coefficient, and the electrical resistivity of each Si thermocouple was experimentally determined using the in-built heater/sensor probes and the resulting values were refined with the aid of finite element modeling (FEM). The results showed a thermoelectric figure of merit for the Si thin films of z T = 0.0093, at room temperature, which was about 12% higher than the bulk Si. In addition, we tested the thermoelectric performance of the TEG by measuring its own figure of merit, yielding a result of ZT = 0.0046 at room temperature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanostructured Materials for Thermoelectrics)
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Open AccessArticle
Thermoelectric Properties of Hexagonal M2C3 (M = As, Sb, and Bi) Monolayers from First-Principles Calculations
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(4), 597; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9040597
Received: 20 March 2019 / Revised: 1 April 2019 / Accepted: 5 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2931 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Hexagonal M2C3 compound is a new predicted functional material with desirable band gaps, a large optical absorption coefficient, and ultrahigh carrier mobility, implying its potential applications in photoelectricity and thermoelectric (TE) devices. Based on density-functional theory and Boltzmann transport equation, [...] Read more.
Hexagonal M2C3 compound is a new predicted functional material with desirable band gaps, a large optical absorption coefficient, and ultrahigh carrier mobility, implying its potential applications in photoelectricity and thermoelectric (TE) devices. Based on density-functional theory and Boltzmann transport equation, we systematically research the TE properties of M2C3. Results indicate that the Bi2C3 possesses low phonon group velocity (~2.07 km/s), low optical modes (~2.12 THz), large Grüneisen parameters (~4.46), and short phonon relaxation time. Based on these intrinsic properties, heat transport ability will be immensely restrained and therefore lead to a low thermal conductivity (~4.31 W/mK) for the Bi2C3 at 300 K. A twofold degeneracy is observed at conduction bands along Γ-M direction, which gives a high n-type electrical conductivity. Its low thermal conductivity and high Seebeck coefficient lead to an excellent TE response. The maximum thermoelectric figure of merit (ZT) of n-type can approach 1.41 for Bi2C3. This work shows a perspective for applications of TE and stimulate further experimental synthesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanostructured Materials for Thermoelectrics)
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Open AccessArticle
Thermodynamic, Structural and Thermoelectric Properties of AgSbTe2 Thick Films Developed by Melt Spinning
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(7), 474; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8070474
Received: 1 June 2018 / Revised: 25 June 2018 / Accepted: 25 June 2018 / Published: 27 June 2018
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Abstract
Cubic AgSbTe2 compound is a metastable phase within Ag2Te-Sb2Te3 pseudo-binary phase diagram and theoretically rapid cooling molten elements to room temperature may be an effective way to obtain it. In this work, thick films composed of 5–10 [...] Read more.
Cubic AgSbTe2 compound is a metastable phase within Ag2Te-Sb2Te3 pseudo-binary phase diagram and theoretically rapid cooling molten elements to room temperature may be an effective way to obtain it. In this work, thick films composed of 5–10 nm fine grains were developed by a melt spinning technique. The formation mechanism of the nanostructure and its influences on the thermoelectric properties have been studied and correlated. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) analysis shows that the as-prepared films exhibit distinct thermodynamic properties when prepared under different cooling rates and doping element. A small amount of Se doping is effectively capable of inhibiting the emergence of the Ag2Te impurity and optimizing the electrical transport properties. All films have positive large Seebeck coefficient, but rather small positive or negative Hall coefficient, indicating a multicarrier nature of transport consisting of both holes and electrons. A power factor of ~1.3 was achieved at 500 K for Se-doped film for its excellent electrical conductivities. This result confirms that a combination of Se doping and melting spinning technique is an effective way to obtain high phase-pure AgSbTe2 compound and reveal its intrinsic transport properties routinely masked by impurities in sintering or slow-cooling bulk samples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanostructured Materials for Thermoelectrics)
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