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Zhongtao Wang, Ph.D. 2018

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Advisor: Prof. Maboudian

BIOGRAPHY

Silicon Carbide Passivated Electrode for Thermionic Energy Conversion [BPN835]
Thermionic energy converters (TECs) are based on the emission of electrons from a hot electrode (cathode) into a vacuum gap and their collection by a cooler electrode (anode), delivering an electric current through the load. In this process, they convert heat directly into electricity and have the potential to achieve high efficiencies comparable to those of conventional heat engines. We have initiated a highly collaborative project to develop a microfabricated, close-gap thermionic energy converter for directly converting heat from a combustion source into electricity. One of the key challenges is associated with the cathode which needs to be highly conductive and survive temperatures as hot as 2000 C in an oxidizing environment. While tungsten is an attractive choice for the cathode, it readily oxidizes under the envisioned conditions. Owing to its chemical inertness and mechanical strength at high temperatures, silicon carbide is an effective option for electrode passivation. In this work, we are developing processes for fabricating a SiC-protected tungsten electrode, exploring the necessity and effectiveness of interdiffusion barriers, and investigating its long-term stability under harsh environments.


Current Active Projects:
BPN835
 

     Last Updated: Fri 2017-Aug-11 19:42:42

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