Applications using thermoelectric materials, materials that interconvert thermal and electrical energy, include waste heat recovery in engines for automotive, aerospace, and military applications, and solid-state refrigeration for consumer products and microelectronics. The Seebeck coefficient is an essential indicator of the conversion efficiency and the most widely measured property specific to these materials. However, the intra- and inter-laboratory comparison of Seebeck coefficient measurements has highlighted conflicting data, due to the diversity of instrumentation and the lack of standardized measurement protocols and certified reference materials. To elucidate the influence of these factors in the measurement of the Seebeck coefficient at high temperature and to identify standard testing protocols, Dr. Martin has developed a custom high temperature (300 K – 1200 K) thermoelectric measurement apparatus, which is uniquely capable of in situ comparison of commonly applied probe arrangements and measurement techniques. With the goal of accelerating the development of more efficient thermoelectric materials and devices, he has also completed a comprehensive analysis of 200 years of thermoelectric measurement literature, thereby creating a resource for best measurement practices in the form of a widely accessible review paper. Additionally, he has development a novel finite element analysis approach to simulate and model Seebeck coefficient measurements for the first time, thus enabling the quantification of errors that were previously experimentally inaccessible.
Dr. Martin graduated from the University of South Florida with a Ph.D. in Applied Physics in 2008 and then was awarded a NRC Research Associateship at NIST. He is currently leading the project “Measurements, Standards, and Data for Energy Conversion Materials.” We have recently introduced the NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) Standard Reference Material® (SRM) 3451 “Low Temperature Seebeck Coefficient Standard: 10 K - 390 K”. This has enabled researchers to calibrate Seebeck coefficient measurement instrumentation and to reliably compare data. Dr. Martin is now developing a complementary high temperature Seebeck coefficient Standard Reference Material (SRM). Dr. Martin is actively involved in the VAMAS Thermoelectric Working Group, leading the effort to identify and disseminate measurement protocols and reference materials.
Opportunities for a NRC Postdoctoral Fellow exist to investigate fundamental material transport properties (Seebeck coefficient, electrical resistivity, heat capacity, thermal diffusivity) by developing new measurement techniques and improved measurement instrumentation, to investigate the synthesis of novel materials using both traditional and combinatorial approaches, and to develop advanced manufacturing techniques for thermoelectric modules. Opportunities also exist for other energy storage and conversion technologies, including storage devices such as batteries, and transduction technologies that convert energy from a form that is challenging to store into one that is economically favorable or more convenient, including for example, chemical, kinetic, electrostatic, or thermal. More information on this opportunity are available here.
Selected Publications Prior to Joining NIST