Degree Name

Master of Philosophy (Materials Engineering)


Australian Institute for Innovative Materials


Thermoelectric (TE) materials, capable of harvesting waste heat and converting this into electricity, have shown promise for use in power generation and refrigeration. The application of TE materials to energy hungry processes, such as the operation of combustion engines or industrial furnaces, provides an opportunity to improve the efficiency of our energy economy. The TE properties, and hence TE figure of merit (zT) of these materials can correlate strongly with the microstructural features of the material. The microstructure of TE materials is heavily related to the fabrication method employed, with further exposure to heat often causing evolution in the microstructure of the material. In order to understand how the observed microstructure of a TE material relates to its measured TE properties, various electron microscopy techniques can be employed.

This thesis investigates the application of advanced electron microscopy on the understanding of TE materials through the presentation of two case studies.



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.