Thermoelectric generation is expected to contribute to energy conservation through the generation of electricity from waste heat. To realize the technology, further improvement in thermoelectric property is required. The efficiency of thermoelectric materials is determined by the dimensionless figure of merit ZT = S^(2)T/ρκ, where S is the Seebeck coefficient, ρ is the electrical resistivity, and κ is the thermal conductivity. Lowering electrical resistivity and thermal conductivity simultaneously is essential to achieve high thermoelectric performance. That is, heat flow must be scattered without scattering electricity. To solve the problem, large vibration of atoms, so called rattling, were proposed that it can provide an ideal scattering mechanism. In addition, lone pairs are also considered to be a key factor, which can be the origin of anharmonicity of interatomic potentials.
In the seminar, I will introduce our results of inelastic neutron scattering examining those anharmonic vibrations, of finding new thermoelectric materials and of developing efficient thermoelectric modules. Through my talk that ranging from fundamental and application, I will try to demonstrate that studies of fundamental science using neutrons lead to substantial progress in applications.
Dr. Christian Franz
Dr. Jitae Park