SSCU invites its alumnus Prof. Kanishka Biswas, JNCASR for a special seminar on their recent work on thermoelectric materials which featured in Science. Details of the seminar and a brief bio of Prof. Biswas is below. Click to join.

SSCU Special Webinar

Nanostructured Thermoelectric Energy Conversion 

By Prof. Kanishka Biswas

Tuesday, March 16th, 4 PM

New Chemistry Unit  & International Centre for Materials Science,

Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR),

Jakkur P.O., Bangalore 560064 (India)


ABSTRACT : With about 2/3 of all utilized energy is being lost as heat. Thermoelectric materials can convert waste heat to electrical energy, and it will have significant role in future energy management. One of the fundamental challenges in developing high-performance thermoelectric materials has been to achieve low lattice thermal conductivity (κL) but simultaneously enhancing the electrical transport. Nanoprecipitates of the size 1-20 nm embedded in bulk matrix are extraordinary to scatter the heat carrying acoustic phonon which decreases the  κL and increases the thermoelectric figure of merit (zT). Formation of layered intergrowth nanostructures in SnTe matrix or in the form of 2D heterostructure nanosheets by kinetic synthesis can lead to ultralow κL.1, 2 2D layered nanostructures such as in the case of SnSe are superior in decreasing thermal conductivity than that of the traditional spherical nanoprecipitates.3  These nanostructure decreases κL significantly but affects the electrical transport.  Thereby, a leap in performance requires innovative strategies that simultaneously optimize electronic and phonon transports. Recently, we demonstrated extremely high thermoelectric performance (zT ~2.6 at 573 K) by optimizing atomic disorder in polycrystalline AgSbTe2 via Cd doping. Cd doping in AgSbTe2 enhances cationic ordering, which simultaneously improves the electronic properties by tuning disorder-induced localization of electronic states and reduces κL via spontaneous formation of nanoscale (~2-4 nm) superstructures and coupling of soft vibrations localized within ~1 nm around Cd sites with local strain modulation.4 The strategy is applicable to most of other thermoelectric materials which exhibit inherent atomic disorder.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Prof. Kanishka Biswas obtained his MS and Ph.D. (Int. Ph.D) (2009) degree (Advisor- Prof. C.N.R Rao) from the Solid State & Structural Chemistry Unit, Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and did postdoctoral (Advisor-Prof. Mercouri G. Kanatzidis) research (2009–2012) in Northwestern University, USA. He is an Associate Professor in the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), Bangalore. He is pursuing research in solid state & inorganic chemistry, thermoelectric energy conversion, 2D materials, topological quantum materials and perovskite halides. He has published 152 research papers, 2 books, 8 book chapters and 3 patents. He has citation over 12,200 and h-index of 48 (google scholar). He is recipient of Materials Science Annual Prize by ICSC- Materials Research Society of India (MRSI) (2020); Swarna-Jayanti Fellowship from DST (2019); Bronze Medal from Chemical Research Society of India (CRSI) (2019); Medal from MRSI (2017); Wiley Young Scientist Award from IUMRS-ICAM, Japan (2017); Young Scientist Medal from Indian National Science Academy (INSA) (2016); MRS Singapore Young Researcher Merit Awards (2016) and Young Affiliate of The Word Academy of Sciences (TWAS) (2015).

He is an Associate Editor of ACS Applied Energy Materials, American Chemical Society (ACS) from 2018. He is serving as advisory board member of various international journals including Journal of Solid State Chemistry (Elsevier), Journal of Materials Chemistry A (RSC), iScience (Cell Press), Materials Horizon (RSC) and JACS Au (ACS). He is an invited Fellow of Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC).


  1. Banik, B. Vishal, S. Perumal, R. Datta and K. Biswas, Energy Environ. Sci. 2016, 9, 2011.
  2. Banik and K. Biswas, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2017, 56, 14561.
  3. Chandra and K. Biswas, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019, 141, 6141.
  4. Roychowdhury, T. Ghosh, R. Arora, M. Samanta, L. Xie, N. K. Singh, A. Soni, J. He, U. V. Waghmare and K. Biswas, Science, 2021, 371, 72


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