Report on ICT2007 (in abstentia)

While I was unable to attend ICT2007 I have had news from several who did. Here I shall attempt to summarize a few highlights.  As usual, all errors are my own.

243 scientists, engineers and business leaders from around the world attended ICT2007 on Jeju Island, Korea June 3-7, 2007.  By all accounts the conference was a great success.  The program (authors and titles) is available online at:

The program of about 221 papers, including 113 oral and 108 posters, were presented in the 3½ day schedule and was supplemented by a reception, tour and banquet.   Reflecting popular trends in research, the topics of nanotechnology, tellurides and oxides each had three sessions devoted to them while only one session was specifically devoted to cooling.  Cooling remains the basis of almost all thermoelectric industry today, but research presumably focuses on where we are going (or wish to go), rather than where we are.

Ministers from Japan and Korea  presented the following papers discussing their respective nation’s renewable energy policies:

T. Kashiwagi ( Tokyo University / Japan )
"Energy policy & new national energy strategy in Japan"   (Invited)
J. k. Kim ( Minsrty of Commerece, Industry and Energy / Korea )
New and renewable energy in korea (Invited)

Both presentations reinforce the idea that we must recuperate waste heat and that thermoelectrics appears to be the only technology suitable for recuperating decentralized waste heat.

Goldsmid elaborates on the idea that ionized-impuriy may improve ZT.  The idea, which Goldsmid points out dates back to Ioffe, caught the attention of several in attendance.

 H. J. Goldsmid
 "Improvement of the thermoelectric properties of a semimetal or narrow-gap semiconductor by means of ionized-impurity scattering"

Of the papers on oxides, the paper 

K. H. Lee, A. Ishizaki, H. Ohta, K. Koumoto
Thermoelectric properties of Nb-doped SrO(SrTiO3) 1 epitaxial films

seemed to indicate particularly promising thermoelectric properties.  This is interesting because it is not based on cobalt, as are most of the oxide studies presented, and yet still has promising ZT values.

There was a report that Komatsu (Japan) is supporting work at the Ioffe institute in St. Petersburg, Russia to develop magnesium-silicide/manganese-silicide based modules for power generation.  The 2004 Best Applications paper, presented by authors from Komatsu, was on this topic.

Acknowledgments: For the preparation of this report and other news from ICT2007 I would like to particularly thank J. Stockholm, D.M. Rowe, J. Yang, C. Uher, J. Snyder, and of course H.W. Lee who chaired ICT2007.