Posted: December 7, 2009

German Thermoelectric Society awards solid-state physicist DTG Young Investigator Award

(Nanowerk News) At its annual meeting in Freiburg, the German Thermoelectric Society (DTG) handed over its DTG Young Investigator Award 2009. Solid-state physicist Dr. Nicola Peranio from Tübingen was awarded for his work on bismuth telluride. The prize, worth €1500, was donated by Micropelt, thermoelectric specialist from Freiburg, and DTG. The DTG Young Investigator Award has been presented for the first time.
This first presentation of the DTG Young Investigator Prize was made during the annual meeting of the German Thermoelectric Society (DTG) on 19th November 2009 in Freiburg. Solid-state physicist from Tübingen, Dr. Nicola Peranio, was awarded the prize for his doctoral research work on the structure, composition and properties of bismuth telluride. The prize was presented at the Fraunhofer Institute for Physical Measurement Techniques IPM.
Doctoral work on bismuth telluride awarded
Dr. Nicola Peranio's award-winning work showed that the low thermal conductivity of bismuth telluride, which is responsible for its excellent thermoelectric properties, is caused by a special structural characteristic of the material. Thus, the heat expansion in the crystal lattice in bismuth telluride is impeded by a periodic nanoscale structure. Dr. Nicola Peranio not only succeeded in imaging the structural change using transmission-electron microscopy but also provided a theoretical description.
Technology of the future: thermoelectrics
Thermoelectrics is used to convert heat into electricity or electricity into heat. Thermo¬electric energy converters, in the form of heat pumps, can use an electric current to produce a temperature difference, or use a temperature difference to generate an electric current. Both have huge economic and environmental potential. For example, the conversion of unused excess waste heat into electrical energy can potentially build an enormous new energy market.
DTG promotes young research scientists
The Young Investigator Award is donated jointly by the DTG and Micropelt from Freiburg. The prize is awarded for the best qualification work of the year in thermoelectrics which has taken place in Germany. The essential criteria for evaluating the work produced during doctorates, diplomas, and master's degrees are scientific or technological originality and a potential for new solutions or applications. This year, the prize has been awarded for the first time. The prize - worth €1500 - was donated by thermoelectrics specialist Micropelt and the German Thermoelectric Society.
Fraunhofer IPM
In the field of thermoelectrics, the Fraunhofer Institute for Physical Measurement Techniques IPM occupies a leading position in materials research, simulation, and systems design. Fraunhofer IPM also has years of experience in optical 2D and 3D measurement engineering. The institute develops and implements ready-to-use optical sensor and imaging systems. In the field of thin-film technology, Fraunhofer IPM is working on materials, production processes and systems - another field is semiconductor gas sensor technology.
German Thermoelectric Society (DTG)
The German Thermoelectric Society (DTG), which has its head office in Freiburg, was founded in 2005. DTG promotes scientific research in thermoelectrics and the development of thermoelectric applications. The society is particularly concerned with the support of young research scientists, the promotion of cooperation between science and industry and propagating the future-oriented topic of thermoelectrics in science, industry and politics.
Micropelt GmbH
Micropelt GmbH is a technological company which was established by Infineon Technologies AG in 2006 as a result of an eight-year collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute for Physical Measurement Techniques IPM in Freiburg. The company develops, produces, and markets miniature Peltier coolers, thermogenerators and sensors; currently employing 16 staff at the company headquarters in Freiburg, which is the pilot production site. A full-scale production plant housed in Halle, Saxony Anhalt with a production capacity of approx. 10 million thermoelectric components is to begin production in the middle of 2010.
Source: Fraunhofer Gesellschaft