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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/P020178/1
Title: Silicon quantum dots in thermoelectric material applications
Principal Investigator: Chao, Dr YB
Other Investigators:
Jayasooriya, Dr UA
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Chemistry
Organisation: University of East Anglia
Scheme: Overseas Travel Grants (OTGS)
Starts: 01 April 2017 Ends: 30 September 2017 Value (£): 6,930
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Materials Characterisation Quantum Optics & Information
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Energy R&D
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
07 Dec 2016 EPSRC Physical Sciences - December 2016 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Major advances in efficient, clean and secure energy conversion and use are needed if we are to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, for example to meet the EU's commitment of a reduction of 80% by 2050. Thermoelectric materials are able to take advantage of wasted or unutilized heat sources, such as in furnaces, car exhausts, and solar cells. As a result, thermoelectric materials have become an area of great interest. These materials are able to convert a temperature gradient into electrical power, and vice versa, without mechanical intervention. The power output from current commercial modules produced are however, modest, but power generated from these devices are then used elsewhere for low power applications, e.g. powering sensors or safety feedback loops. We have successfully synthesized Phenyl-acetylene functionalized Silicon quantum dots (SiQDs) which are showing potential to provide highly efficient thermoelectric materials. These conjugated ligands would allow transport of electrons through the conjugated orbitals. A preliminary characterization of this system, in the bulk, shows an electric conductivity in the region of 24 S.m-1, thermal conductivity 0.10 Wm-1K-1 and a Seebeck coefficient of 4148 muVK-1 at 300 K, with an estimated figure of merit ZT in the region of 0.6. Knowledge of the microscopic conduction rates and mechanisms of these materials would be invaluable in our attempts to improve these materials by design. The present application is to use the uniquely elegant method of Muon spectroscopy to measuring these microscopic properties.
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