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Next Generation Materials Scientists

Next Generation Materials Scientists - July 2022


1 July 2022
10 am to 11 am
(SG Time)


Associate Prof. Jae Sung Son
Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), South Korea

Title: 3D Printing of Inorganic Thermoelectric Materials and Devices

Heat is omnipresent in natural and artificial environments, more than 60% of which is dissipated. Thermoelectric (TE) power generation can provide a unique solution to convert this dissipated, wasted heat into useful energy, that is, electricity. Generally, TE conversion efficiency depends on the material properties and design of the module structure. However, despite the development of highly efficient TE materials, module engineering is rather less advanced and is still fabricated by the traditional multi-step process of materials synthesis, dicing, and assembly, restricting the available design of modules to that of planar structures. At this moment, three-dimensional (3D) printing technology can maximize the flexibility in the design and fabrication of TE modules into more efficient structures. Furthermore, the printing process can significantly reduce the processing cost for the fabrication of TE modules owing to lower energy input and a simplified assembly process. Herein, I present the development of the 3D printing process applied to a range of different TE materials of Bi2Te3, BiSbTe, PbTe, and Cu2Se-based inorganic alloys.  The particle-based inks were formulated with the tailored surfaces of particles, achieving the suitable viscoelasticity of the TE inks to the extrusion-based 3D printing. The geometrically designed 3D-printed TE materials were assembled into power generating systems, in which high efficiencies of energy conversion were achieved by the optimization of heat transfer. 


Jae Sung Son is an Associate Professor at Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), South Korea. Associate Prof. Son received his Ph.D. in 2011 from Seoul National University in the field of Interdisciplinary of Nanoscience and Technology. He conducted his postdoctoral research at Korea Electrotechnology Research Institute and the Department of Chemistry, University of Chicago. In 2014, he joined the School of Materials Science and Engineering in UNIST as an Assistant Professor. Since 2018, he holds the appointment of Associate Professor at the faculty. Among his many accolades, Associate Prof. Son was awarded as UNIST Rising-Star Distinguished Professor from 2019 -2022. Since 2021, he is a member of Young Korean Academy Science & Technology (Y-KAST). Associate Prof. Jae Sung Son research focuses on thermoelectrics, 3D printing and nanoparticle synthesis. He has published in several renown journals such as Nature Electronics, Nature Energy, ACS Energy Letters and Advanced Materials.