Thermal Transport - C. Fu
The design and discovery of new materials and the development of their functional properties as special applications are the key themes for materials science and engineering. In reality, there are many ways to recognize a new material, such as color, density, phase and state of matter, crystal structure, magnetization, and electrical conductivity, etc. In this group, we are interested in exploring the thermal and electrical transport behavior of new materials, particularly the emerging topological quantum materials. Based on the first law of materials science, i.e. structure determines properties, our work will be established on the understanding of the relationships between the chemical aspects of crystal structure and defects and the physical aspects of electronic structure, phonon dispersion, and transport properties. With these, we are aiming at the exploration of the interplay between topology and transport properties and the discovery of novel topological quantum materials for thermoelectric energy conversion.
Thermoelectric effects enable the direct conversion between thermal and electric energy and thus offer a solution for energy harvesting and solid-state cooling. Depending on the direction between thermal gradient and electric voltage, thermoelectric effects consist of Seebeck effect and Nernst effect, the latter generally occurs under magnetic field. Topological quantum materials host various exotic physical properties, which provide multifunctional platforms for the discovery of novel advanced materials for heat-to-electricity energy conversion.
The group has a strong background on crystal growth and transport properties study. To achieve our goal, we will have extensive collaborations with microstructure characterization, theoretical and experimental study of electronic structure and phonon dispersion.