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Effect of ultra-short laser nanostructuring of material surfaces on the evolution of their thermoelectric properties

Abstract : Today, renewable energies such as wind, solar, hydropower and thermoelectricity play an essential role to cover our energy needs. Among these different sources of energy, thermoelectricity, which offers the ability to convert a heat into electricity or vice versa, has attracted a great attention due to its wide field of potential applications. The current advances in thermoelectric research are focusing on the improvement of the conversion efficiency of thermoelectric devices through optimizing and improving the thermoelectric properties of the thermoelectric materials (Seebeck coefficient, electrical conductivity and thermal conductivity). For this, different approaches (doping, new materials, nanostucturing...) have been investigated in the literature. Among these approaches, nanostructuring of materials is the most studied in the literature in order to improve the thermoelectric properties of materials. In this thesis work, we aimed to study the effect of surface nanostructuring of materials (mesoporous silicon and titanium oxide deposited in thin film) by ultra-short laser beams (picosecond and femtosecond) on the evolution of their thermoelectric properties. First, we focused on the study of various physical phenomena involved during the laser-matter interaction that yield to the formation of very different nanostructures in form of ripples, spikes, dots and others as function of the applied laser dose (fluence and number of pulses). The formation of these nanostructures has been studied in two regimes (stationary and dynamic). After optimizing the laser parameters leading to the formation of such nanostructures, a characterization of Seebeck coefficient and the electrical conductivity before and after the nanostructuring of these materials was carried out by using a new experimental setup (ZT-meter) designed and validated in GREMI laboratory. The results of measurements showed an important improvement of Seebeck coefficient and electrical conductivity after nanostructuring. This important improvement observed with the both materials leaded to a strong increase in the thermoelectric power factor (reaching roughly 50000%).
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Abderazek Talbi. Effect of ultra-short laser nanostructuring of material surfaces on the evolution of their thermoelectric properties. Other. Université d'Orléans, 2017. English. ⟨NNT : 2017ORLE2053⟩. ⟨tel-01952834⟩

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