Tribo- and thermoelectric materials for energy generation (30/06/22)

Speaker and Affliation:

Prof. Apparao M. Rao
Clemson University, USA)


Prof. Apparao M. Rao Department of Physics and Astronomy, and Clemson Nanomaterials Institute Prof. Apparao is visiting as Dr Brahm Prakash Chair professorship at the Department of Materials Engineering. He is a physicist and a nanomaterials researcher. He currently serves as the Robert A. Bowen Professor of Physics in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Clemson University, and the founding director of the Clemson Nanomaterials Institute. He has also served as the Associate Dean for Discovery in the College of Science, Clemson University. He is known for developing Raman spectroscopy as a versatile tool for characterizing carbon nanomaterials and developing liquid-injection-based synthesis methods for carbon nanotubes. His current research at Clemson University focuses on energy generation and storage technologies. In addition to supporting R&D at Clemson University through federal funding, Rao has successfully attracted funding and fostered strong industrial partnerships. Because of his sustained research in nanomaterials and for building competitiveness in the State of South Carolina, the Governor of South Carolina, the Honorable Nikki Haley, conferred on him in 2014 the State’s highest honour - the Governor’s award for excellence in scientific research. He is a TEDxGreenville Speaker and a Fellow of the American Physical Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Materials Research Society, and the National Academy of Inventors.


30th June, 2022 (Thursday), 11:00 AM (India Standard Time)


Department of Materials Engineering, KPA auditorium


With an increasing demand for energy, it has become necessary to scope out new sources of renewable energy. In 2012, Prof. Zhong-Lin Wang and co-workers at Georgia Tech reported the triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) as a new source of energy, which basically works on the principle of the triboelectric effect and electrostatic induction. The TENG can be assembled within a few minutes using off-the-shelf materials and used for harvesting mechanical energy from the environment which is otherwise wasted. The TENG has a very simple working mechanism, and simple design, and can be used to power many small wearable electronics. A few examples of TENGs devised at the Clemson Nanomaterials Institute will be presented.

A thermoelectric generator (TEG) converts waste heat into usable energy. The TEGs are emerging as viable renewable energy sources, which directly convert the waste heat into electricity. The efficiency of a TEG is related to its figure-of-merit ZT= S2s/k, where S is the Seebeck coefficient, s and k are the electrical and thermal conductivities, respectively. The inherent challenges for increasing ZT will be discussed, and the use of Raman spectroscopy as a facile tool to quantify anharmonicity in thermoelectric materials will be presented.