We are working in the field of thermoelectric materials and devices.
Thermoelectric materials can be used as electric power generators (thermal to electrical conversion), or as coolers (electrical to thermal conversion). Seebeck effect, Peltier effect and Thomson effect are collectively termed as thermoelectric effects. Thermoelectricity, therefore, provides a means of utilizing the waste heat (e.g. from automobiles, industries etc.) for power generation. A few of the areas where these materials find application as generators are deep space mission probes (in Radioisotope Generators (RTG)),wrist watches/ pacemakers powered by body heat etc.). As coolers, thermoelectric materials are used for laser cooling, in CCD cameras, cooling of computer chips etc.Currently, our group is involved in the synthesis and characterization of skutterudites, PbTe based chalcogenides, and ternary & quaternary chalcogenide materials, using different techniques.
For synthesis, we use:
- solid state methods (melt-quench) using induction melting and high temperature furnace, for bulk materials
- sputter deposition for thin films
- chemical route synthesis using sol-gel techniques(for gas sensor materials)
We are also interested in the design and development of 3-Omega Method for thermal conductivity measurement of thin films and the development of thermoelectric generator and thermoelectric sensor for radiation detector.