DFG Priority Program 1386 “Nanostructured Thermoelectric Materials: Theory, Model Systems and Controlled Synthesis.”


Since summer 2009 Prof. Kornelius Nielsch coordinates a Priority Program from the Senate of the German Physical Society concerning power generation from heat by using nanostructured materials. The purpose of the scientists within this Priority Program 1386 ,,Nanostructured Materials” will be the development of new thermoelectric systems by using nanostructured materials, which will be up to 200 per cent more efficient. A greater efficiency of thermoelectric materials would generate brand new possibilities in the field of power engineering for example by using directly the waste heat in combustion engines while lowering CO2 emissions at the same time - as well as in energy self-sufficient sensors. A review publication in the physic journal in May 2007 started the initiative for the Priority Program application. Within the same year an application for the Priority Program had been set up to the Senate of the German Physical Society, who decided positively in April 2008 and established this Priority Program for a period of six years. In autumn 2008, 35 applications with 80 applicants had been submitted on the occasion of the appeal regarding the first funding period. Since June 2009 the funding for six years will be provided for 18 cluster projects including the nationwide participation of 33 working groups as well as 2 austrian and 1 swiss group with a total amount of 17,4 M€. Within this Priority Program scientific issues concerning physics, nanotechnology and micro system technology, measurement and energy technology as well as material sciences are connected with each other. During the planning process the focus has been on competences in following three fields to include in every project: 1. Material synthesis, 2. Thermoelectric measurement technology and 3. Theory and simulation. Beside the affiliated research work the national education of graduate students, the organisation of summer schools related to the topic thermoelectric for PhD students are essential tasks of the Priority Program 1386. A coordination unit supports the public relations work by creating teaching concepts related to thermoelectric for schools on primary and secondary levels as well as workshops between the Priority Program and in cooperation with industrial partners.