Thermoelectric effects build a robust bridge which directly connects thermal energy and electricity, thus can be utilized for thermoelectric generators and refrigerators. A high performance thermoelectric material needs both decent electrical transport and low thermal conduction; nevertheless, the coupling between the thermal and electrical transport properties in thermoelectrics makes this aim more like a “mission impossible”. In thermoelectrics, the attempts which look for ideal phonon-glass-electron-crystal (PGEC) have never stopped. In order to decouple the entanglements between these thermoelectric parameters, new methods and novel mechanisms must be proposed and successively realized. Besides, the criterion for a decent thermoelectric material has to be reexamined. The over-emphasis on peak ZT might not benefit the development of this field in the long term. The average performance over a large temperature gradient, the stability, machinability, cost and eco-friendly or not shall also be taken into consideration. Moreover, arising problems during thermoelectric module/device design and fabrication processes should be under focus, since the overall device performance rather than the material performance in laboratory is the one which motivates the investment and research input.
The overall intent of this symposium is to provide a forum for worldwide scientists/researchers to discuss critical issues we faced currently in thermoelectrics and future “blueprint” for thermoelectric development. Content associated with new materials investigations, thermal/electrical transport mechanisms, high-throughput material screening, organic or inorganic/organic composite thermoelectrics, strategies of electronic band design, rational modulation of microstructures, thermoelectric device design and applications, and et al. is encouraged to be submitted to this special symposium. Moreover, this symposium is interested in interdisciplinary materials which exhibit the potential of thermoelectric effects or can cooperate with current thermoelectric techniques. Researchers/scientists in thermoelectrics and all related fields are invited to participate in this symposium to help realize the ultimate “thermoelectric dream”-commercial application.