Energy Conversions: Thermoelectric Materials for Industrial Applications
The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences finances a cluster of 1 postdoctoral and 3 PhD research fellowships – each of 4 years – within studies and development of thermoelectric materials for industrial applications.
The cluster is headed by professor Truls Norby, hosted by the Centre for Materials Science and Nanotechnology (SMN), comprises interdisciplinary research and degrees at Department of Physics and Department of Chemistry, collaboration with other Norwegian research institutions such as SINTEF and NTNU.
Innovation is a central target of the cluster, and a compulsory 25% of the work of each fellow will be dedicated to innovation-related activities in collaboration and interaction with small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and industries which are developers, producers, or users of thermoelectric materials and applications. Energy efficiency in industrial processes by waste heat utilization and electricity generation in remote installations are among applications of major interest.
The research covers two major classes of thermoelectric materials: Intermetallic compounds (e.g. antimonides, silicides, skutterudites) for efficient thermoelectric generators (TEGs) for low and intermediate temperatures will be in focus of the postdoctoral and one PhD research project in materials physics. Oxidic materials for low-cost, non-toxic, high-temperature TEGs are in focus for two PhD projects in materials chemistry. The projects cover various aspects of synthesis, processing, fabrication, properties, and stability of materials, interfaces, and devices, and are thus largely of interdisciplinary nature and require close collaboration internally, with other researchers in relevant projects and fields, and with the industry participants in the cluster.
The four projects and fellowships are planned and announced as follows:
A. Intermetallics for efficient thermoelectrics
Electrical and thermal properties and stability of materials and interfaces. Postdoctoral research fellowship with prof. Terje Finstad, LENS/semiconductor physics, as main supervisor. Primary collaboration with other physics groups at UiO and SINTEF Oslo and innovation interactions with TEG producer and large-scale user industries.
B. Intermetallics for efficient thermoelectrics
Structural and chemical studies of degradation of materials, interfaces, and devices. PhD research fellowship with assoc. prof. Øystein Prytz, Structure Physics, as main supervisor. Primary collaboration with other physics and chemistry groups at UiO and SINTEF Oslo and innovation interactions with SMEs including a TEG producer and large-scale user industries.
C. Oxides for high-temperature thermoelectrics
Synthesis, fabrication, and thermoelectric properties of novel materials and interfaces. PhD research fellowship with prof. Helmer Fjellvåg, NAFUMA, as main supervisor. Primary collaboration with other chemistry and physics groups at UiO and innovation interactions with SMEs including an oxide materials producer.
D. Oxides for high-temperature thermoelectrics
Assembly, properties, and stability of materials couples and modules. PhD research fellowship with prof. Truls Norby, FASE, as main supervisor. Primary collaboration with other chemistry and physics groups at UiO and NTNU and innovation interaction with SMEs including an oxide materials producer and with large-scale user industries.