Thermoelectric materials and devices

We research thermoelectric materials and devices. These materials have applications in converting wasted heat into useful electrical energy and in cooling without moving parts. Mike is the theme lead for HeatToPower, a thermoelectrics theme in the EPSRC and SFI CDT in Sustainable Chemistry.

The prevailing technologies used in thermoelectrics are over fifty years old and rely on elements whose short supply is holding back the technology’s mass adoption. Therefore we have a real interest in exploring novel organic or hybrid organic/inorganic thermoelectric materials. We are also interested in the thermoelectric properties of van der Waals materials.

Nanomaterials and nanocomposites

We investigate the properties of polymers, nanomaterials and nanocomposites. By incorporating nanoscale materials into a surrounding matrix, we can realise materials with properties that are the best of both worlds – for example, combining the ease with which polymers can be processed with the superior mechanical, optical and electronic properties of the ‘filler’ nanomaterials. These systems also provide a fascinating laboratory for the study of fundamental polymer physics.

X-ray and neutron scattering

We are specialist users of X-ray and neutrons as structural probes in matter – in particular, small-angle scattering (SAS). We apply for beamtime at major facilities such as ISIS and Diamond and make regular trips there to perform our experiments on their state-of-the art beamlines.

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