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Special Issue "Thermoelectric Thin Films for Thermal Energy Harvesting"
A special issue of Coatings (ISSN 2079-6412). This special issue belongs to the section "Surface Engineering for Energy Harvesting, Conversion, and Storage".
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2023 | Viewed by 1514
Special Issue Editor
Interests: photocatalysis; metal-oxide thin films; PVD deposition techniques
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Special Issue Information
One of the biggest challenges of the coming years will be meeting energy demand (+30% in 2040) in a cost-effective and environmentally responsible manner , which has attracted a huge amount of interest in materials with applications in energy production systems. In addition to the well-known materials for photovoltaic systems, there is another class of materials under intense investigation, thermoelectric ones . These can convert thermal differences into electrical energy. In the case of metal oxide films, by adequately reducing oxygen concentration or by doping these materials with other elements, it is then possible to achieve a very promising figure of merit (ZT > 0.1) [3–10]. From the number of recent publications on the subject, it is clear that there has been increasing interest in materials with thermal properties and associated technologies for power generation and cooling , especially for converting temperature gradients into electrical energy, so as to meet the need for alternative energy resources. In order to maximize the figure of merit of these thermoelectric materials, the metric used to characterize their performance, a high Seebeck coefficient, good electrical conductivity, and low thermal conductivity are required . For the case of thin films, it is advantageous in many application scenarios to render these materials with a very high optical transmittance in the visible and near-infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum. Currently, devices that use this technology already exist on the market, using titanium oxide in the bulk form, and the results are encouraging . However, for certain applications, such as in photovoltaic systems, namely, dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSC), for glass surfaces and for facades of buildings, it is crucial that the material with intrinsic thermoelectric properties be in the form of a very thin coating and transparent, in order not to hinder solar absorption [14,15]. Other potential applications are for touch displays, where thermal heat from the environment and from the user’s touch can be converted to electricity and thus render these devices more sustainable.
This Coatings Special Issue will focus on the recent developments of thermoelectric thin films for thermal energy harvesting, from theoretic fundamentals to applications, covering a wide range of production methods. Insight will be given with regard to increasing the Seebeck coefficient and electrical conductivity and reducing thermal conductivity, with the objective of optimizing their performance. To achieve this, beforehand, it is necessary to study and understand the inherent physical–chemical properties. The optimization of these materials may involve a selective doping of these metal oxides with cations with a larger ionic radius, so that on one hand, it increases the concentration of charge carriers, and on the other hand, it provides phonon dispersion mechanisms that reduce thermal conductivity. Authors are invited to share their knowledge on the inherent physics involved, deposition methods, and strategies; full comprehensive studies of optical and electrical properties are of interest. Additionally, the theoretical and experimental methods for the determination of thermal conductivity need to be understood, so studies on this subject are especially welcome.
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Prof. Dr. Carlos Jose Macedo Tavares
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- thermal energy
- energy harvesting
- thin films
- metal oxide
- thermal conductivity
- scanning thermal microscopy
- 2 omega
- 3 omega
- thermal wave
- frequency domain
- pulse technique
- phonon scattering