University of California, Riverside

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering



Balandin Group Wins NSF Funding for Research on Pyroelectric Nanostructures


Balandin Group Wins NSF Funding for Research on Pyroelectric Nanostructures....
 
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Balandin Group Wins NSF Funding for Research on Pyroelectric Nanostructures

September 23, 2015

The National Science Foundation (NSF) funded a new multi-PI project entitled, Collaborative Research: EAGER: Enhancing Pyroelectric Effects in Nanostructured Materials for High-Efficiency Energy Conversion. Dr. Alexander Balandin, UC Presidential Chair Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering and his graduate students will collaborate with Dr. Ankur Jain, Assistant Professor at the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Texas at Arlington and Dr. Majid Jolandan, Assistant Professor at the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Texas at Dallas on developing a new type of nanostructures for direct energy conversion. The ubiquitous occurrence of waste heat in engineering systems such as automobiles or microelectromechanical systems offers an opportunity to scavenge energy through an appropriate mechanism for conversion to electricity. This project aims at investigating the pyroelectric effect in individual nanostructures for nano and microscale energy harvesting and sensors applications. Pyroelectric effect refers to the coupling between a time-varying temperature and voltage generation in materials with certain crystalline structure. The pyroelectric effect is distinctly different from the well-explored thermoelectric effect that requires spatial-temperature gradient for generation of electricity. Although thermoelectric effect has been widely investigated at various scales, the pyroelectric effect has been largely unexplored, particular at the nanoscale. Balandin group will provide theoretical support to the project and materials characterization using micro-Raman and Brillouin-Mandelstam spectroscopy facilities of the Phonon Optimized Engineered Materials (POEM) Center at UC Riverside.

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