Published: 05 January 2018

Research highlights of MASSIVE

In this issue we feature some of the recent journal articles arising from projects aligned with MASSIVE carried out at our academic partners at Manchester, QMUL and Surrey.

Wearable Battery

Triboelectric nanogenerators for wearable applications

Researchers at the University of Surrey in the Advanced Technology Institute and Functional Nanomaterials group have demonstrated a wearable, self-sufficient electronic system based on triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs), energy generating devices which work on the principle of producing usable electricity from the static charge developed between different materials in contact through friction. The Surrey work incorporates TENG technology into ‘smart’ items of clothing and shoes which allow energy to be generated by the wearer’s movements, with potential applications in low power consumption micro/nano-systems including mobile sensors and portable personal electronics.

Contact: Ravi Silva, Robert Dorey.

Processing of thermoelectric materials

J Mats Chem C, Vol 5, Issue 6, 2017. 1514-1521.

A recent paper from colleagues at Queen Mary University of London investigates the feasibility of processing thermoelectric materials by flash sintering, involving direct high heating rate Joule heating of green compacts without the use of a graphite die and avoiding bypassing of the current through the die, which occurs in a conventional SPS system.

Promising results were obtained with flash sintering of a magnesium silicide stannide compound, with significant lowering of the onset densification temperature and rapid densification in a controllable and repeatable manner. Flash sintering could open a new way for rapid densification of dense nanostructured and/or textured TE materials with low electrical resistivity by optimising the distribution or removal of the surface oxidation of the powder grains.

Contact: Mike Reece.

Thermoelectric Oxides

Thermoelectric Mats and Devices, RSC Energy and Environ, Vol. 2017-Jan. Issue 17, 60-82.

MASSIVE project researchers and colleagues at the University of Manchester have published a comprehensive review of  thermoelectric oxides, including precursor production, processing/properties relationships, commonly used oxide systems and future challenges for scaling up the commercialisation of these materials.

Contact: Robert freer.

MagMat collaboration at Queen Mary University of London

Professor Mike Reece and Dr Salvatore Grasso in the Materials Department at Queen Mary University of London are leading the MagMat project, a unique UK capability supported by EPSRC and QMUL that extends materials engineering in a strong magnetic field to new synthesis and processing techniques, with a field strength of up to 15 T and upper temperature of 700˚C.

Recent developments include installation of a custom built Hall coefficient measurement system and a fully functional computer-controlled stage for achieving a rotating magnetic field, producing materials having crystallographic alignment along any direction.

The facility will support research activities on thermoelectrics and the MagMat team also welcomes expressions of interest in collaboration from researchers in other universities and in industry.

Contact: Mike Reece.

Sustainable Functional Materials Conference

Following on from the inaugural SFM meeting held in Scarborough in 2016, SFM2018 will be held on 23-24 May in WestonSuper-Mare, Somerset, UK. (NB rescheduled from April).

The conference will be co-chaired by Robert Dorey (Surrey) and Ian Reaney (University of Sheffield), principal investigators of the EPSRC projects MASSIVE and SUbST, respectively. SFM2018 will focus on the functional materials substitution and sustainability issues likely to become critical over the next decade, with sessions covering piezoelectric and thermoelectric materials and devices, energy harvesting, properties and characterisation, sustainability and risk, and scale-up of processing and manufacturing techniques.

Invited speakers include:

  • Andrew Bloodworth (British Geological Survey)
  • Rebecca Boston (University of Sheffield)
  • Steve Dunn (Deregallera Ltd)
  • Jon-Paul Maria (North Carolina State University)
  • Allan Walton (University of Birmingham).

Registration and abstract submission are now open via the conference webpage. We look forward to seeing you at SFM2018. Contact:

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