Prof. Rabin’s research has revolved around the thermoelectric effect in nanowires. Both modeling and experimental tools are used to identify the potential of nanostructures in waste heat recovery and refrigeration. Synthesis of nanowires is carried out by means of chemical vapor deposition techniques, templated growth, or solution phase growth. Characterization of thermoelectric properties of nanowires at the single wire level still remains a challenge. The lab contributed to the effort of developing measurement techniques that are relevant to the nanoscale, as well as modeling tools that can predict the effects of nanoscale confinement on transport. Achieving an incremental increase in the efficiency of the available thermoelectric materials can generate now opportunities in powering micro-devices. Achieving a significant leap in the efficiency can make thermoelectric systems ubiquitous, reducing energy costs and saving the environment.
Focus Area: Renewable Energy / Thermoelectric cooling and energy generation