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Nanotechnology for Energy & Environment (NE2)

The Nanotechnology for Energy & Environment (NE2) research group focuses on the fundamental aspects and applications of nanoscience and nanotechnology in the multidisciplinary areas of materials science and engineering, energy & environment, mechanical engineering, semiconductor physics, surface chemistry, and electronics.

There are three main research themes in our group:

  • Sustainable energy harvesting and storage, with particular interest in thermoelectric energy convertors and Li-ion batteries.
  • Synthesis, characterisation, and properties of inorganic/organic nanomaterials & nanocomposites for various applications.
  • Tuning the surface/interface properties of materials by controlling the nano-/micro-morphology and chemical functionalisation for water treatment and biomedical applications.

Currently, our key focus of research is on developing thermoelectric energy harvesters and wearable electronics by additive manufacturing technology. Thermoelectric generators provide a unique capability to directly convert heat to electricity. We use semiconducting inorganic nanomaterials and conductive organic molecules and polymers to manufacture state-of-the-art thermoelectric generators with 3D printing processes. Such small and flexible thermoelectric devices can be attached to human skin or clothes to harvest the always-freely-available heat from our body and turn it into electricity. This electric power could continuously charge portable and wearable electronic devices/sensors with microwatt to milliwatt power levels.

For further information about our group and research, please visit our website:

Group Leader

Current Research Projects

  • 3D printing of flexible & wearable thermoelectric devices for body energy harvesting
  • Using porous materials for thermoelectric energy harvesting from waste heat
  • 3D printing of thermoelectric nanomaterials for sustainable waste-heat energy harvesting
  • Fatigue behaviour of additively manufactured thermoelectric alloy Bi-Sb-Te

Past Research Projects

  • Efficient conversion of waste heat to electricity by nano-engineering of thermoelectric chalcogenide materials
  • Surface engineering of biomimetic hierarchical nanostructured films towards self-cleaning and water treatment applications
  • Plasma-assisted surface engineering of boron nitride (BN) nanostructure films: from super-hydrophobicity to superhydrophilicity
  • CVD synthesis and electron microscopy characterization of boron nitride (BN) nanotubes and nanosheets
  • Casting, hot deformation, and fracture analysis of aluminium-silicon carbide (Al-SiC) and aluminium-boron carbide (Al-B4C) micro-composites
  • Microstructural analysis of aluminium-tungsten carbide (Al-WC) micro-and nanocomposites prepared by spark plasma sintering