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Microstructure Nanocomposites for Thermoelectrics
AuthorRock, Connor Richard
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According to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, nearly 70% of energy produced in the United States was wasted in the form of heat in 2018 . With this ongoing energy crisis and increasing energy demands, there lies an urgent need for improved energy harnessing materials. Thermoelectric (TE) materials can convert a temperature gradient into an electric potential or vice versa. The efficiency of these materials is characterized using a dimensionless figure of merit (ZT). In order for these materials to become economically feasible, the ZT values need to be significantly increased from their current standing. Nanostructuring of these materials is a plausible option that can significantly increase ZT. In this study, we seek to demonstrate through classical molecular dynamic simulations and experimental investigations how the nanostructuring of particle size in Ge2Sb2Te5 nanocomposites can reduce the lattice thermal conductivity, and in turn, increase the figure of merit of TE materials.