By  Balachandran Group

Thermoelectric materials have been of great interest for a number of decades due to their ability to generate power, such as recycling of waste heat. Prasanna Balachandran, assistant professor of materials science and engineering and mechanical and aerospace engineering, is conducting research to deepen theoretical knowledge about polar thermoelectric materials for energy conversion technologies.Balachandran's research focuses on a polycrystalline material known by its chemical formula Ag2GeS3, which is also metastable at ambient conditions. Balachandran has joined efforts with Xiaoyan Tan, George Mason University assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, and Masoud Kaveh-Baghbadorani, James Madison University assistant professor of physics and astronomy, to conduct this research, supported by a $5,000 4-VA grant. Tan's group synthesized the materials; Tan and Kaveh-Baghbadorani conducted experiments to measure the materials' properties, and Balachandran's materials informatics group ran theoretical simulations to explain their experimental data. The team published their results in the July 2022 issue of ACS Chemistry of Materials.