Enhancing the thermoelectric conversion performance of cobalt-based oxide materials through doping and microstructure modulation

Project Status: 6 Project underway
Commencement Date: 11.11.2023
Duration in months: 0 months


Growing demand for energy consumption and the negative environmental impacts of pollution and global warming has become a major challenge facing the world today. A large amount of the world’s energy consumption (70% of total energy) is wasted in the environment as heat, which raises global environmental issues. This has led to increased activity in developing alternative eco-friendly energy conversion technologies. The future of energy is green and renewable. Being green energy materials, thermoelectrics can generate clean energy by converting low-grade waste heat directly into profitable electrical power via the so-called Seebeck effect. The development of efficient thermoelectric (TE) materials is expected to provide a breakthrough in the widespread application of thermoelectric generators (TEGs) for electrical power generation from waste heat discharged from various systems (industrial furnaces, incinerators, automotive exhaust, etc) and heat emanating from renewable energy sources (e.g., solar and geothermal). TEGs convert the dissipated heat into electricity with zero emission of toxic gases, and without vibration; TEG?s are silent, extremely reliable, and with no moving components, making them ideal for small, emission-free, and less costly power generation. So we can believe thermoelectricity as an alternative and simplest Green Technology applicable for direct heat–to-electricity conversion. State-of-the-art thermoelectric materials with promising heat-to-electricity conversion efficiency must not only possess high TE performance but also be stable at high temperatures and be composed of non-toxic and low-cost elements, which is a major criterion of today’s global ecological challenge. The recent discoveries of large TE responses in Ca3Co4O9, Bi2Sr2Co1.8Oy, and Bi2Ca2Co1.7Oy cobaltites and other oxides gave rise to enormous interest of various research groups. The cobaltite TE materials are advantageous, exhibiting many attractive characteristics, such as (i) chemical stability and thermal durability, (ii) inexpensiveness, (iii) environmentally friendly and safe application in air. Nevertheless, due to their relatively low performance when compared with the conventional ones the practical use of cobaltites still remains a problem. Proper doping, nanostructuring, and defect engineering are promising strategies to enhance the functional properties of thermoelectric materials. Very recently our superconductivity research group at the Georgian Technical University launched the studies of thermoelectric cobaltite materials in Georgia — the first laboratory of energy-efficient technologies in Georgia and the Caucasus region was successfully established. Our latest results show that using the suitable dopants selected by the Project participants leads to the significant improving of thermoelectric efficiency in cobaltites. Based on these results, 4 patent applications were submitted to the National Intellectual Property Center of Georgia (“Sakpatenti”) by the project participants. The Georgian team has long-standing experience of collaboration with Armenian colleagues. A key feature of this project is that the strengths of the Georgian and Armenian partners will be combined to address materials development and investigating their thermoelectric properties. The ambitious goal of the joint Georgian-Armenian Team is to enhance markedly the heat-to-electricity conversion efficiency of cobalt-based Ca3Co4O9, Bi2Sr2Co1.8Oy, and Bi2Ca2Co1.7Oy thermoelectric materials via combined routes of doping and microstructural engineering at the nanoscale. We hope that the innovative approaches of this Project will pave a promising pathway toward realizing practical applications and commercialization of thermoelectric generators for waste heat recovery, using high-performance thermoelectric materials developed by the Project Team.

Participating Institutions


Georgian Technical University (GTU)


Institute for Physical Research (IPhR)


Research Institute for Technical Physics and Materials Science


Nagaoka University of Technology