Synthesis and Real Structure Group

Chromium-Chalcogenide-Based Thermoelectrics

Hendrik Groß

 

The current focus in research to explore new and sustainable sources of energy has led to a renaissance in the field of thermoelectric materials. Such materials, the most effective and commonly known being Bi2Te3 and PbTe, possess the ability to convert waste heat into electrical energy. 

In contrast to other established methods of sustainable energy conversion, thermoelectric materials suffer from exhibiting relatively low efficiencies as well as being comprised of either toxic or rare elements. This project is set around chromium chalcogenides, most importantly chromium sulphides and selenides, which provide an abundant and more environmentally-friendly alternative to other materials, with the drawback of having a lower initial efficiency. Tailoring and improving this efficiency can be achieved by means of nanostructuring, with the ultimate goal to achieve a high electrical conductivity in conjunction with a lowest possible thermal conductivity.

In collaboration with the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry in Kiel and the Fraunhofer Institute for Physical Measurement Techniques in Freiburg, materials are synthesized and sintered with state-of-the-art field-assisted sintering techniques (FAST). A synergistic analysis approach combining X-ray-diffraction (XRD) and TEM gives insight into the materials properties and structure, which can be used to modify and enhance the material’s thermoelectric capabilities.

 

DFG-Grant KI 1263/16-1