Thermoelectric Materials for Space Applications
This exciting PhD studentship will support space-based microgravity solidification experiments to be performed on the International Space Station (ISS). Part of the European Space Agency’s NEQUISOL project (Non-equilibrium Solidification of Industrial Alloys) this is a collaboration between research groups in the UK, Germany, France, Spain and Canada.
You will be responsible for conducting ground based solidification studies on Si-Ge based thermoelectric materials selected to fly on the ISS by using a high vacuum containerless processing furnace and the Leeds 6.5 m drop-tube. Containerless processing will be used to determine solidification velocities for direct comparison with those obtained in orbit, with microstructural characterisation of the as-solidified samples also being conducted.
The larger ground based microstructural data sets will be benchmarked against the returned samples so a complete microstructure selection map can be constructed to aid interpretation of the orbital data sets. Parallel drop-tube experiments will be undertaken to study the effects of high cooling rate on the samples.