Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Institute for Superconducting and Electronic Materials


The age of renewable energy has come and is steadily settling into the global consciousness. Debate on the future of renewable energy technologies is past discussing its merits, and is now onto asking about the next step. One of the biggest potential energy sources is waste heat, which represents close to 70 per cent of the total energy produced in heavily industrialized countries such as the USA. Thermoelectric devices directly convert heat into electricity, making thermoelectricity the leading candidate technology for waste heat recovery. Education, policy and regulation have steered many industries towards shifting their products and processes towards a more environmentally-friendly path, which includes an effort to use "green materials".

This doctoral work focuses on the study and development of magnesiumbased thermoelectric materials, known to be fabricated from more abundant and non-toxic materials. Furthermore, this class of thermoelectric compounds has shown high figures-of-merit (zT) at temperatures of great interest to industries that produce large quantities of waste heat. Research on Mg2X (X = Si, Ge, Sn) thermoelectric materials has been focused on the quest for the highest zT, leading to great advances in the development of complex compounds mainly consisting of supposedly solid solution alloys. In this thesis, an attempt is made to establish a reliable method for synthesizing these materials, by exploring various fabrication processes, with the goal of gaining new perspectives and deeper knowledge on the fundamental aspects of high efficiency magnesium-based thermoelectric materials.



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.