G. Jeffrey Snyder Professor of Materials Science and Engineering

Research Interests

Nanomaterials for Thermoelectrics. Synthesis and characterization of self-assembled lamellae and precipitates with epitaxy-like interfaces that emulate high-efficiency superlattice materials which are normally grown by thin film methods. Use of bulk processing methods suitable for commercialization. 

Band Structure Engineering of Thermoelectric Materials.  Use of alloying to control band convergence for high valley degeneracy. Demonstration of highzT ~1.5 in several PbTe, PbSe n-type and p-type systems ideal for waste heat recovery.

Zintl Materials for Thermoelectric power generation.  Spearheaded exploration of Zintl phases for thermoelectric applications.  Demonstrated high efficiency in Yb14MnSb11 and electronic tunability in Zintl phases.  Discovered interstitial mechanism for low thermal conductivity in Zn4Sb3. 

Solid-State Physics and Thermodynamics of Thermoelectric MaterialsPredictive modeling of electronic and thermal transport properties of heavily doped semiconductors at high temperatures. Development of thermoelectriccompatibility and related nonequilibrium thermydynamic concepts for rational materials development of segmented and cascaded thermoelectric devices.

Thermoelectric Engineering. Hierarchical engineering principles for design of thermal to electric power generation and thermal management systems. Thermal modeling. Microfabrication techniques for thermoelectric MEMS devices.

Transport Measurements at Elevated Temperatures.  4-point thermopower measurement system for Seebeck coefficient and large temperature gradient thermoelectric voltage.  Electrical conductivity and Hall Effect to 1000 C.  Thermal diffusivity and heat capacity.

Energy Efficiency.  Increased energy efficiency from waste heat recovery, thermal insulation, localized heating and cooling. Higher efficiency heat to electricity. Efficient utilization of energy through cogeneration of heat and electricity. 

Selected Publications

G. J. Snyder, E. S. Toberer “Complex thermoelectric materials” Nature Mater.,7, 105 (2008).

Yanzhong Pei, Heng Wang and G. Jeffrey Snyder “Band Engineering of Thermoelectric Materials” Advanced Materials24, 6125 (2012)

Nicholas A. Heinz, Teruyuki Ikeda, Yanzhong Pei and G. Jeffrey Snyder "Applying quantitative microstructure control in advanced functional composites" Advanced Functional Materials24, 2135 (2014)

E. S. Toberer, A. F. May and G. J. Snyder “Zintl Chemistry for Designing High Efficiency Thermoelectric Materials” Chemistry of Materials22, 624 (2010)

Yanzhong Pei, Xiaoya Shi, Aaron LaLonde, Heng Wang, Lidong Chen and G. Jeffrey Snyder "Convergence of Electronic Bands for High Performance Bulk Thermoelectrics" Nature473, 66 (2011)

S. R. Brown, S. M. Kauzlarich, F. Gascoin, and G. J. Snyder "Yb14MnSb11: New High Efficiency Thermoelectric Material for Power Generation" Chem. Mater18, 1873 (2006).

G. J. Snyder, M. Christensen, E. Nishibori, T. Caillat, B. B. Iversen, "Disordered Zinc in Zn4Sb3 with Phonon Glass, Electron Crystal Thermoelectric Properties" Nature Materials, Vol 3, p. 458 (2004).

G. J. Snyder and T. Ursell, "Thermoelectric Efficiency and Compatibility" Phys. Rev. Lett.Vol 91, p. 148301 (2003).

J. P. Heremans, G. J. Snyder, et al., “Enhancement of Thermoelectric Efficiency in PbTe by Distortion of the Electronic Density of States” Science,321, 554 (2008).

F. Gascoin, S. Ottensmann, D. Stark, S. M. Haile, G. J. Snyder “Zintl Phases as Thermoelectric Materials: Tuned Transport Properties of the Compounds CaxYb1-xZn2Sb2” Advanced Functional MaterialsVol 15, 1860-4 (2005)