Alexander Petsch awarded the Young Investigators Prize of the German Thermoelectric Society

From left to right: The DTG board, Prof. E. Müller (DLR) and Dipl.-Ing. N. Katenbrink (company Quick-Ohm) present the Young Scientist Prize to Alexander Petsch (HZB), whose work was supervised by Dr. K. Fritsch and PD Dr. K. Habicht (both HZB).

Alexander Petsch from the HZB Department Methods and Characterization of Transport Phenomena in Energy Materials was awarded the Young Scientist Prize 2018 of the German Thermoelectrics Society e.V. (DTG) for his outstanding Bachelor thesis.

In his work, he investigated novel thermoelectric materials which can convert heat into electrical energy. As heat occurs in form of waste heat in nearly every industrial process imaginable, the use of thermoelectrics bears a huge potential for a more efficient energy use.

Alexander Petsch synthesized a bismuth-palladium-oxide compound that was very recently predicted in a computational study as a potential thermoelectric and characterized this material in his work for the first time with respect to its crystal structure and thermoelectric properties. He could show, for example, that this compound exhibits an extremely small thermal conductivity which can be attributed to the presence of stereo-chemically active electron lone pairs.

The Young Scientist Prize is endowed by a 1000 Euro cheque and was awarded to Alexander Petsch at the yearly annual meeting of the DTG that took place on 15.11.2018 at the Max-Planck-Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids in Dresden. The DTG prize committee commended the bachelor thesis as “very systematic and comprehensive thermoelectric characterization with a detailed comparison to a recent theoretical proposal from literature; a clearly outstanding and award-worthy contribution”.  In In his prize talk, Alexander Petsch presented the results of his thesis that were obtained in the department of PD Dr. Klaus Habicht at HZB and defended at the Humboldt University Berlin.

Thesis title: “Thermoelectric characterization of the lone-pair electron compound Bismuth-Palladium-Oxide”