About this Research Topic
For years to come, the increasing energy demands are antipicipated. The search for materials which can meet human needs for energy in sustainable ways is indispensable and challenging. Approximately 15 terawatt of power is wasted during power generation in the form of heat to the environment. Thermoelectric materials can convert waste heat to electricity via Seebeck effect. Besides, thermoelectric materials can be used as refrigerator without using CFC-related coolants via Peltier effect. Thermoelectric materials can be considered as one of the green energy materials. However, the three transport parameters of electrical conductivity, Seebeck coefficient, and thermal conductivity determining the dimensionless figure of merit are mutual dependence and cannot go hand-in-hand to improve thermoelectric efficiency. This makes the research for achieving high efficiency of thermoelectric materials more challenging. In the recent progress of thermoelectric materials research, nanofabrication is remarkably effective in reducing the lattice thermal conductivity; thereby it is considered as an important strategy of improving the dimensionless figure of merit. It still remains challenging to decouple the three transport parameters and to simultaneously increase the power factor and decrease the thermal conductivity. The scope of this research topic seeks to provide a rapid forum for interdisciplinary efforts in pursuing high efficiency thermoelectric materials.
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