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Reference Number EP/N03516X/1
Title Vacancy-Rich Silicon as a Flexible Thermoelectric Material
Status Completed
Energy Categories ENERGY EFFICIENCY(Other) 75%;
OTHER POWER and STORAGE TECHNOLOGIES(Electric power conversion) 25%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS (Physics) 25%;
PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS (Metallurgy and Materials) 50%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Electrical and Electronic Engineering) 25%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Dr N Bennett
No email address given
School of Engineering and Physical Sciences
Heriot-Watt University
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 01 September 2016
End Date 28 February 2019
Duration 30 months
Total Grant Value £202,728
Industrial Sectors Energy
Region Scotland
Programme NC : Physical Sciences
Investigators Principal Investigator Dr N Bennett , School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Heriot-Watt University (100.000%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , European Space Agency (ESA) (0.000%)
Project Contact , Power Textiles Ltd (0.000%)
Web Site
Abstract Over 15 TW of power is continually lost worldwide in the form of waste heat. Thermoelectric generators (TEGs) offer one method of reducing this waste, by harvesting the heat and using it to create electrical power. While the conversion efficiency of TEG devices is often <10%, the sheer abundance of waste heat, offering a free fuel source, makes TEGs appealing for many diverse applications. This proposal is aimed at thin-film TEGs (active thickness, 1-20 micrometres), forecast to be a core market sector in the future, with the advent of flexible/wearable electronics, and with the increased uptake of sensors, all of which require low-power. If TEGs can be produced at low-cost and with increased functionality (e.g. flexible), their potential is significant to act as a power source for future electronic devices that improve our quality of life. As an alternative to generators, the same thin-film technology can also be used in reverse for small-scale heating/cooling applications, with thin-film modules already used for chip-cooling in high-performance electronics (space, military and aerospace applications). Silicon-based technologies underpin the global electronics industry due to their many practical advantages. These same benefits would extend to TEGs were it not for the poor thermoelectric conversion performance of silicon. This project will undertake pioneering materials work in the area of "vacancy-rich silicon" - essentially silicon with many atoms removed at the atomic level - building on initial work carried-out by us, which has shown vacancy-rich silicon to be competitive with other state-of-the-art thermoelectric materials. The realisation of flexible thin-film TEGs based on vacancy-rich silicon will represent a transformative step applicable to numerous applications, including power generation and heating/cooling within clothing, as targeted specifically by us in co-operation with our industry partners
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 28/03/19