Year

2021

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Institute for Superconducting and Electronic Materials

Abstract

The enormous amount of waste heat from different sources for instance: exhaust system of automobiles, industrial boilers and chimneys, thermal power plants and household cooking stove, can be directly converted into useful electrical energy by thermoelectric generator (TEG). Hence, thermoelectric (TE) has a huge potential to be a simple and environment-friendly technology for direct conversion of waste heat into usable electricity. However, the energy conversion efficiency and lifetime of thermoelectric devices are not adequate for commercial usages. Energy scientists around the globe are working on different thermoelectric materials and device configurations to overcome these hurdles.

Conventional thermoelectric materials such as Bi2Te3, PbTe, and Cu2Se exhibit high thermoelectric performance, however these materials have some shortcomings like poor durability, low operating temperature, limited availability, and high toxicity. On the other hand, metal oxide based thermoelectric materials are highly durable at high temperatures, non-toxic, low-cost, and have minimal environmental impact. However, the performance of metal oxide based thermoelectric materials are still inferior compared to the conventional thermoelectric materials due to their high lattice thermal conductivity.

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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.