Our thermoelectric research focuses on thin films and superlattices of novel materials such as perovskites (ABO3 with A and B site as well as δ doping) and double- filled skutterudites (CoSb3 based). With a view to enhance the thermoelectric figure of merit (ZT=S2σT/), growth conditions are optimized to tailor the power factor (S2σ). Moreover, substitution for Sr and Ti with appropriate dopants (La, Nb, V, Ta etc) in SrTiO3 and filling with rattler atoms (In and Yb) in CoSb3 are currently employed in reducing the lattice thermal conductivity. Additionally, our initiatives on nanostructured thick films and superlattices involving alternating layers of semiconducting SrTiO3 and insulators are also expected to bring in an enhancement in ZT.
Using state of the art facilities (such as pulsed laser deposition, dc and rf magnetron sputtering, e-beam and thermal evaporators) for thin film and superlattice deposition and an exhaustive array of sophisticated characterization tools, the group aims to contribute significantly to global research in thermoelectrics in the forthcoming years.
A Faculty Initiated Collaboration (FIC) project on oxide thermoelectrics is being pursued with active collaboration with Prof. Terry Tritt’s group at Clemson and Prof. Udo Schwingenschlögl’s group at KAUST.