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About us

HORATES forms Europe’s next generation in thermoelectric research in a joint research training and doctoral programme. Learn more about our scientific goals and work plan.

Heat to electricity – but smart

HORATES is short for Hybrid and Organic Thermoelectric Systems. We are an international doctoral programme in materials science and funded by the European Union with about 4 million euros. The programme focuses on the development of organic materials suitable for converting unused waste heat into electricity. Within HORATES, 15 young scientists conduct research on this topic and work on their PhD projects. Our consortion includes universities, research centres, and companies in Germany, Italy, Sweden, Spain, the Netherlands and France.

Wearable thermoelectric generatiors
Thermoelectric generators may power wearable electronic devices

Waste heat from technical devices and even heat given off by living beings is a ubiquitous source of energy and can be harnessed to produce electricity. One possible application is powering small sensors. “We intend to use a mechanism known as the thermoelectric effect to convert the energy, whereby a difference in temperature can be transformed into electrical energy,” says Prof. Dr. Martijn Kemerink of Heidelberg University, Germany, who is the coordinator and spokesperson for HORATES. Until now, inorganic materials have been used for converting and storing energy. The international PhD programme will concentrate on developing organic materials, whose greater mechanical flexibility and low thermal conductivity make them potentially more efficient performers than conventional inorganic materials.

The current state of technology in organic thermoelectrics is not yet far enough for market-ready applications. “For thermoelectric generators, we will explore the properties and processing of newly developed organic materials and then use them in demonstrator devices.” The doctoral candidates work through the full chain of organic thermoelectrics, from molecular design and chemical synthesis to device development, including theoretical modelling. The structured programme for 15 doctoral candidates is organised under the auspices of an innovative training network with scientific and practical experts serving as advisors. Funding is provided within the framework of Horizon 2020, the research and innovation programme of the European Union.

HORATES Innovative Training Network

“For thermoelectric generators, we will explore the properties and processing of newly developed organic materials and then use them in demonstrator devices.

Prof. Dr. Martijn Kemerink, coordinator and spokesperson of HORATES network


March 2021 – February 2025


European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme

Early stage researchers:

15 young scienctists from 9 countries worldwide


11 beneficiaries, plus 5 associate partners

More about our network


The HORATES consortium has identified 5 objectives, which are critical for the consolidation and advancement of EU leadership in the field of thermoelectrics:

  1. Synthesis of new, thermally and electrochemically stable organic materials and composites with record 𝑧𝑇 values significantly beyond the state-of-the-art
  2. Development of a general and basic understanding of the structure- morphology-property nexus
  3. Development of quantitative and predictive multiscale models for all quantities in 𝑧𝑇
  4. Design and fabrication of stable printed thermoelectric generators modules with a power density > 1 μW/cm2 at ∆T = 10°C
  5. Inclusive library of hybrid and organic printable thermoelectric materials as reference for future R&D activities


The HORATES training will be developed at three different levels: local training, network-wide training, and secondments.

At a local level, each ESR will follow lectures, seminars and mandatory courses addressing both scientific and transferrable skill. In complement, HORATES will offer 6 network-wide events in which we will combine 5 international schools on more specific scientific topics and 5 workshops on complementary and transferrable skills.

To train the ESRs in different scientific fields from the one at their host institution and to expose them to different working methods, HORATES foresees at least 2 secondments per ESR, with at least one in a company of the network for students working at an academic institute and vice versa.

Work packages

HORATES consists of four scientific work packages (WPs), which are shown below. Click the links to learn more about the research in the involved ESR projects.

WP1: Materials synthesis

The task of WP1 is the design, synthesis and upscaling of ambient stable p- and n-type organic thermoelectric materials and the provision of sufficiently large quantities to the consortium.

ESR projects involved:

WP3: Theory and modeling

In many fields of physics, chemistry and material research, computational modelling has become a standard tool to provide essential insight in time and lengths scales that are experimentally inaccessible.

ESR projects involved:

WP4: TEG design and fabrication towards upscaled manufacturing

This WP fulfills the technological goals of the proposed ITN. The final aim is the fabrication of efficient and stable TEGs by scalable and low-temperature processes, generating a final power density exceeding 1 µW/cm2 for as low as possible temperature differences.

ESR projects involved: