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Fabrication of polymer based materials for thermoelectric applications

Primary Information


Advanced Materials

Project No.


Sanction and Project Initiation

Sanction No: F.NO.41-2/2015-T.S.-I (Pt.)

Sanction Date: 42622

Project Initiation date: 24/02/2017

Project Duration: 36

Partner Ministry/Agency/Industry

Partner Ministry: Department of Science and Technology and Partner Industry: Suprja Solutions, # 397-L-II, TNHB, Kilkaranai, Singaperumal Koil, Chennai-603204


Role of partner:The partner industry's role is to test the prototype, up-scaling of the technology and possible commercialization of the product.


Support from partner:The partner industry is contributing 15% of the total budget.

Principal Investigator

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Dr. Dillip K. Satapathy
Indian Institute of Technology, Madras

Host Institute


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Dr. Ravi Kumar N. V.
Indian Institute of Technology, Madras

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Dr. R. Gopalan
Indian Institute of Technology, Madras and ARCI, IITM Research park, Chennai


Scope and Objectives

The primary objective of the proposed work are the following: (1) To develop polymer based flexible and light-weight materials for efficient thermoelectric energ conversion and heating/cooling applications. (2) To investigate the effect of morphology, nanostructuring, nano-filler addition, external fields, on thermoelectric properties. (3) To develop and test the prototype made up of this material for energy conversion and for heating/cooling applications.


1. Polymer based flexible thermoelectric materials will be developed at IIT Madras with improved figure of merit.? 2. Knowledge on fabrication of thermoelectric polymeric materials generated at IIT Madras will be used by thermoelectric group of International Advanced Research Center for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials (ARCI), located at IITM research park for prototype development.? 3.Patenting the new technologies, up-scaling and possible commercialization by the industry partner.




Scientific Output

Thermoelectric materials are capable of generating a potential difference from temperature gradient or a temperature difference when a voltage is applied across it. They are capable of energy harvesting from waste heat without any pollution and attracting attention as clean and efficient energy generators. In addition, they are very effective in heating and cooling applications in moderate temperature range. Polymer based thermoelectrics possesses some unique features like mechanical flexibility, low thermal conductivity, light weightiness, low-temperature solution processability in comparison to their inorganic counterpart and offer great potential for producing relatively low cost and high performance termoelectric materials in large-scale. The energy conversion efficiency of organic thermoelectrics can be further enhanced by smart doping, addition of nanofillers, low-dimensional nano fillers having self-assembled polymer monolayers, for the economical production in industrial scale, which is the essence of this proposal.


Results and outcome till date

Polymer based flexible Thermoelectric materials with the desired properties are fabricated. The figure of merit of these materials are being optimized.


Societal benefit and impact anticipated

1. Polymer based thermoelectric energy generators can potentially provide an inexpensive, clean and efficient technological solution for waste heat recovery. Currently, use of TEGs for waste heat recovery in automobile sector actively explored. 2. Improving the thermoelectric performance of organic thermoelectrics at moderate temperatures, which is an essential requirement for day to day life application. (3)The flexibility offered by polymer based thermoelectrics can further be explored to manufacture flexible TEGs which can be used to generate energy using moderately low human body temperature to operate low-power electronic devices in extreme conditions.

Next steps

Further improvement of the figure of merit by following the following steps: by smart doping of conducting polymer, addition of nanofillers, reduced dimension of nanofillers, self-assembled monolayers Application of external field

Publications and reports

Influence of Microstructure on the nano mechanical properties of polymorphic phases of Poly(vinylidene fluoride) J. Phys.Chem.B, 122, 8591-8600 (2018)



Scholars and Project Staff


Challenges faced


Other information


Financial Information

  • Total sanction: Rs. 32808000.00

  • Amount received: Rs. 20706500.00

  • Amount utilised for Equipment: Rs. 309947.00

  • Amount utilised for Manpower: Rs. 1663885.00

  • Amount utilised for Consumables: Rs. 557637.00

  • Amount utilised for Contingency: Rs. 67700.00

  • Amount utilised for Travel: Rs. 29390.00

  • Amount utilised for Other Expenses: 0.00

  • Amount utilised for Overheads: Rs. 3451083.00

Equipment and facilities


We are in the process of creating Thermoelectric measurement facilities and polymer processing facilities at IIT Madras.

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