(630d) Nanowire Heterostructure-Based Thermoelectric

Wu, Y., Purdue University
Yang, H., Purdue University
Fang, H., Purdue University

In this presentation, we will describe our latest progress on the general, reproducible, and scalable synthesis of nanowire heterostructures for potential thermoelectric energy harvesting for low grade heat recovery. Particularly, through a multiple step solution phase process, we can mass produce telluride based thermoelectric nanowire heterostructures with embedded nanoparticles or nanoplates at two ends. In certain cases, significantly improved performance compared to bulk materials has been observed due to the contribution of reduced thermal conductivity through interface phonon scattering and enhanced Seebeck coefficient through energy filtering. The synthesis method could be used to produce nanowires up to kilogram level using our large batch reactor while still maintaining a narrow diameter/length/performance distribution, which could open the door for the real applications of nanostructured thermoelectric materials. These nanowire heterostructures also provide novel platforms in a reproducible way to study new theories in electrical and thermal transport at nanoscale interface inculiding quantum confinement, energy filtering, and phonon scattering.