COVID-19 Information

PhD Thesis Proposal: Cory Cline

Monday, November 30, 2020, 11:00am

For info on how to attend this videoconference, please email

“Improvements in the thermoelectric performance Fe2VAl Heusler alloy for low temperature operations”


A good solution to generate energy in cold environments is to use thermoelectric modules to harvest the excess heat provided from a generator or motor. Current thermoelectric materials are toxic and expensive using elements like Te and Sb whereas this project wants to shift the focus to a promising candidate, Fe2VAl, which offers even a larger power factor at a cheaper and non-toxic cost to society and the environment. Fe2VAl only suffers from a relatively large thermal conductivity compared to its semiconductor competitors. The aim of this project is to try multiple routes to reduce thermal conductivity by enhancing phonon scattering:

Each method to reduce thermal conductivity will measure the thermoelectric performance (Seebeck, electrical and thermal conductivity) before and after to see what method is more effective at obtaining low (< 5) thermal conductivity, without compromising electrical conductivity or the Seebeck coefficient. For changes that affect either the atomic structure or microstructure of Fe2VAl, characterization (SEM, TEM, and APT) will be conducted to investigate and draw a full picture of the performance is enhanced. The ultimate goals for the project are two-fold 1) developing a highly functional, cheaper and non-toxic thermoelectric module that can compete against other cold weather competitors 2) observe how the thermal conductivity of the Fe2VAl can be minimized.

Thesis Committee

For more information, contact Daryl Laware at