PhD Candidate: Raghavendra NUNNA

Date and place of defence: September 25, 2013 - UCBN, Ensicaen, France.

The search for new and nonpolluting energy sources became a major stake for our society after, particularly, the introduction of the Kyoto protocol. In this context, the generation of electricity from waste heat with thermoelectric generators (TEG) appears very promising. For this reason, the current proposed research program has as broader goals to contribute to the design, synthesis and identification of novel thermoelectric materials necessary to lead to the production of new innovative materials potentially useful in technological applications and to contribute to the protection of the environment and energy conversion.

A first technological obstacle concerns the weak performances of some thermoelectric materials for their use at high temperature (up to 1000°C). The performances improvement thus passes by an active research on the design of new thermoelectric materials. For that purpose, a thorough and challenging research on nanomaterials and new thermoelectric nano-architectures is necessary.

Based on nanopowders synthesized in LCIS, the PhD student will develop in CRISMAT fast sintering methods like Spark Plasma Sintering and Microwave Sintering to produce innovative nanomaterials. The complete thermoelectric properties of the materials will be measured, their microstructures analysed by scanning electron microscopy, and their structures and purities determined by X-ray diffraction. CORNING will help the project for integrating the best materials in thermoelectric modules.

Project Partners

UCBN - CRISMAT (Caen)

ULG - LCIS (Liege)

Corning European Technology Center CETC (France)