High-performance thin film porous pyroelectric materials and composites for thermal sensing and harvesting

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bath
Department Name: Mechanical Engineering


Thermal sensing and harvesting using pyroelectric materials is an emerging and active research topic with respect to the recovery of low-grade waste heat and infrared detection. However, current pyroelectric materials suffer from poor heat transfer and low efficiency and sensitivity, which limits their practical application. This project targets the modelling, synthesis and characterization of thin-film porous pyroelectric materials that are produced via an aqueous freeze tape casting. While the presence of porosity reduces the permittivity to improve sensing and harvesting performance, the incorporation of plasmonic nanofillers within porous structure will also significantly improve heat transfer. The challenge of this project stems on the control of the directional pores in the thin films and tailoring heat transfer as a result of localized pore heating due to plasmonic fillers. The combination of modelling, materials synthesis and characterization will lead to the development of a high performance multi-functional pyro-photo-thermal material for pyroelectric sensing and harvesting. The experience of the applicant in pyroelectric materials and the skills of the host in pyroelectric composites and plasmonics will be exploited on the design of the pyroelectric materials and the control of the plasmonic nanoparticles. The applicant will gain new expertise in finite element modelling and the preparation of porous pyroelectric composites offered by the host. This fellowship will be a key step in the applicant's career development by expanding her research and academic training. This will be facilitated by a focused training plan and the establishment of new long-term collaborations across the EU, and links with other leading thermal energy sensing and harvesting institutes/industries.


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