CAREER: Material Design and Research Oriented Multidisciplinary Education: Amorphous to Nanocrystalline Electronic Materials with Applications to Thermoelectrics
Project runs from 10/01/2014 to 07/31/2020
Amorphous based materials can possess fundamentally different electrical and thermal properties than crystalline or nanocrystalline forms of the same material. Although, amorphous materials have found applications and continue to show promise for modern technologies, charge carrier and phonon transport in these materials remain a point of dispute. The lack of long- and short-range order in amorphous materials leads to complicated interplay between structure and energy transport. In this project a novel class of electronic materials based on bulk amorphous structures in the form of amorphous-crystalline nanocomposites will be developed and their thermal and electrical properties will be tailored. The application will be focused on thermoelectric materials, but the results are expected to produce new science applicable to other functional materials including optical and magnetic materials. Parallel to the research endeavors, an educational plan will be implemented which incorporates and develops a new teaching initiative in the upper-division undergraduate curriculum, involves undergraduates in research, promotes student international collaborative research, exposes the field of energy materials to the general public, and provides a resource web-site for advanced thermoelectric material studies. The available resources in the Oklahoma Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (OK-LSAMP) and Multicultural Engineering Program (MEP) programs will be used for expanding the participation of minority students and the recruitment of high school students.