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Thermal and Thermoelectric Transport in Nanomaterials

Final Activity Report Summary - NANO-THERMOELECTRICS (Thermal and Thermoelectric Transport in Nanomaterials)

The project goal was to develop new nanostructured thermoelectric materials of unprecedented efficiency for thermoelectric energy conversion applications, such as cooling and power generation. The main scientific achievements of the project were the following:

1. the invention of a new class of thermoelectric nanocomposites consisting of silicide nanoparticles in SiGe matrix, which were considerably superior to standard SiGe.
2. the development of the first ab-initio based computations of thermal conductivity in nanostructured materials, with an application to isotope disordered boron nitride (BN) nanotubes.
3. the development of pioneering ab-initio calculations of thermal conductivity in bulk semiconductors without adjustable parameters.
4. the theoretical computation and experimental measurement of ultra-low thermal conductivity of carbon nanotube pellets.
5. the experimental tailoring of thermal conductivity of Ge/Si nanodot layered materials over spatially defined regions as small as 20 nm.

Our experimental measurements and associated theoretical computations opened up new possibilities for the control of thermal conductivity at the nanoscale.