The lecture deals with thermoelectric materials and systems which can employed to convert heat directly into electrical energy or to control temperature very precisely. Starting from the basic thermoelectric effects and thermodynamic relations different aspects of the field are introduced and set into relation with each other. These include e.g.:

·         Synthesis of state-of-the-art thermoelectric materials

·         Fabrication of thermoelectric generators and coolers

·         Contact development for thermoelectric devices

·         Synthesis-microstructure-property relationships

·         Modelling of thermoelectric devices with different complexities: influence of contact resistances and the temperature dependence of material quantities

·         Measurement technique for thermoelectric materials and devices

·         Design of thermoelectric devices for different applications ranging from space probes over automotive to healthcare


The lecture is clearly interdisciplinary and includes aspects of solid state physics, semiconductor physics, thermodynamics but also manufacturing technology and measurement technique.