School of Engineering

Thermoelectric Materials Laboratory


Brief Description about the lab:

In the past few decades, utilization of energy resources has highly been increased due to large need. The available natural resources are mostly being used to serve the purpose. Most of the nonrenewable natural resources (coal, petroleum and natural gases) have limited stock, and due to very fast consumption rate, it may not be available in next fifty years. Therefore, the need of alternate resources of energy, which can fulfill our requirement without affecting the ecological and environmental conditions, are in high demand. Thermoelectric (TE) materials are one of the best source of clean energy, which is efficient in conversion of heat energy into electrical energy. There are various applications of TE materials such as electronic component cooling, electricity production from waste heat of automobiles, infrared sensor, etc. The suitability of any materials for TE applications is decided on the basis of their thermoelectric efficiency. This thermoelectric efficiency is defined in terms of a dimensionless parameter called as thermoelectric figure of merit ZT=α2σT/κ, where α, σ, κ and T are Seebeck coefficient, electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity and absolute temperature, respectively. Thus in order to characterize the thermoelectric materials one needs to know the temperature dependent behaviour of α, σ, and κ of the materials. From past five years our group is actively involve in developing low cost instruments for the characterization of thermoelectric materials. In this direction we successfully fabricated Seebeck coefficient, resistivity and thermal conductivity measurement setups, which can provide good quality data from 300 to 625 K. We are also successful in fabricating a Z-meter which can simultaneously measure α, σ, and κ in the temperature range of 300 to 625 K. We have filed a patent for this instrument. Our group is also in the process of developing various instruments like Vacuum Furnace, Hall-probe, Vacuum based hot-pressing system, etc., which will be useful in studying the thermoelectric behaviour of materials and their utilization in fabrication of devices. Such efforts of developing the low cost instruments provide students a great opportunity to learn many practical aspects of science and engineering. It reduces ourdependence to buy high cost commercial instruments. And in long run, our consistent efforts inthe direction of developing scientific instruments are expected to benefit the underprivileged61universities and research institutions through the transfer of knowhow. If such efforts areencouraged, they will help in generating technical man powers in the country which will reduceour dependence on purchasing and maintaining the scientific instruments from abroad. Finally, itwill also help in developing useful devices for waste heat recovery and refrigeration.The main aim of this laboratory is to provide an excellent opportunity to learn magnificence of science and technology by developing scientific equipments and useful engineering devices.

Academic Programs to be supported /Teaching UG & PG Courses:

(i) Study of thermo power of materials (M. tech , I-Ph. D.)
(ii) Study of thermal conductivity of materials (M. Tech, I-Ph. D.)
(iii) Study of charge carriers in materials ( M. Tech, I-Ph. D.)

Broad Research Areas:

Energy Materials

Faculty In-charge:

Dr. Sudhir Kumar Pandey, Dr. Atul Dhar

Users & potential collaborators

a) Institute faculty members: Dr. Rahul Vaish, Dr. Atul Dhar, Dr. Ajay Soni
b) Industries:
(i) Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO)
(ii) Department of Science and Technology (DST)
(iii) Council for Scientific and Indutrial Research (CSIR)
(iv) Ministry of Renewable Energy (MNRE)

List existing facility

1. Thermal conductivity measurement setup

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2. Seebeck coefficient measurement setup

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3. Resistivity measurement setup

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4. Figure-of-merit measurement setup