Date of Award
Master of Science
Materials Science and Engineering
Thermoelectric materials, in which a temperature difference creates an electric potential or an electric potential creates a temperature difference, are probably a key to solving global warming and energy shortage problems. There are three thermoelectric effects: the Seebeck effect (temperature to current), Peltier effect (current to temperature), and Thomson effect (conductor heating/cooling). However the efficiency of thermoelectric materials has been rather low for practical applications, including power generation and refrigeration as it requires an optimization of the combination of conflicting material characteristics (i.e., thermal conductivity and electrical conductivity). To date, efforts have been made to capitalize on nanotechnology to create novel semiconducting materials that could finally make thermoelectricity a widely used technology. In my research, I systematically synthesized bismuth (Bi) nanocrystals as one of very important thermoelectric materials by hydrothermal and star-like amphiphilic block copolymer nanoreactor approaches. The size of Bi nanoparticles prepared by employing star-like amphiphilic block copolymer templates was better controlled. The thermoelectric properties of Bi nanocrystals were improved when their crystalline sizes are smaller than 10nm.
Yu, Weijie, "Preparation of Thermoelectric Nanocrystals for Energy Applications" (2011). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. Paper 10432.