Holger Kleinke

Holger Kleinke
Location: C2 067
Phone: 519-888-4567 x33577


Holger Kleinke's research focuses on finding and optimizing new thermoelectric materials. Thermoelectrics are capable of converting heat into electrical energy and vice versa. This environmentally friendly energy conversion currently has several applications, but is limited by its low efficiency. His research group is attempting to increase the efficiency so that thermoelectrics may be used to recover electricity from the nowadays abundant waste heat, e.g. in the exhaust of automobiles.

One of Holger Kleinke's newest projects is to utilize Cu ion mobility to lower the thermal conductivity of thermoelectric materials. This mobility has to be localized within each unit cell in order to inhibit Cu ion migration throughout the material, which would otherwise cause device degradation. Since the thermoelectric properties depend on the thermopower as well as on the electrical and thermal conductivity, various property measurements are routinely carried out in the group. The syntheses are guided by calculations performed by students who are fascinated by the theoretical aspects of chemical research.

Research Interests

  • Inorganic materials
  • Solid-state chemistry
  • Thermoelectric energy conversion
  • Crystal structure predictions
  • Quantum Materials
  • Smart Materials
  • Energy Materials
  • Condensed Matter
  • Next Generation Energy Systems
  • Nanomaterials
  • Renewable Energy
  • Smart and Functional Materials


  • 1994 Ph.D., Chemistry, J.-G.-Universität Mainz, Germany
  • 1991 M.Sc., Chemistry, W.-W.-Universität Münster, Germany
  • 1988 B.Sc., Chemistry, W.-W.-Universität Münster, Germany


  • 2002 Ontario Distinguished Researcher Award. Toronto, Canada
  • 2001 Canada Research Chair in Solid State Chemistry (tier II, NSERC) Ottawa, Canada
  • 2000 Premier's Research Excellence Award (Province of Ontario) Toronto, Canada
  • 1999 Fellowship for Habilitands (DFG). Bonn, Germany
  • 1997-99 Liebig-Fellowship (FCI, Fonds der Chemischen Industrie and BMBF, Bundesministerium für Bildung, und Forschung). Frankfurt, Germany
  • 1995-97 Postdoctoral Fellowship (DFG, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft). Bonn, Germany
  • 1994 Ph.D. Award (FCI, Fonds der Chemischen Industrie). Frankfurt, Germany


  • 2015-present, Science Faculty Council,
  • 2013-present, Materials Nano Steering Committee
  • 2011-present, Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology Media Ambassador
  • 2016-17 Interim Executive Director, Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology
  • 2015-16 International Advisory Board member, 35th International Conference on Thermoelectrics, Wuhan, China
  • 2012-13 Chair of the Solid State Chemistry Symposium, 96th CSC conference and exhibition, Quebec City, QC
  • 2010-11 Scientific Program Committee member, 30th International Conference on Thermoelectrics, Traverse City, MI, USA,
  • 2009-11 Materials Science Curriculum Committee
  • 2008-11 Executive Committee
  • 2008-09 Direct Thermal to Electrical Energy Conversion Materials and Applications Symposium Organizer (with Dr. Tritt, Clemson, Dr. Weidenkaff, EMPA, Dr. Funahashi, AIST, and Dr. Zhang, CAS), 8th Pacific Rim Conference on Ceramic and Glass Technology (PACRIM 8), Vancouver, BC
  • 2009 Reviewer of the OGS Scholarships (visa students)

Affiliations and Volunteer Work

  • Member and Media Ambassador, Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology
  • 2016-17 Interim Executive Director, Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology


  • CHEM 212 - Structure and Bonding
    • Taught in 2020
  • CHEM 400 - Special Topics in Chemistry
    • Taught in 2018, 2019, 2021, 2022
  • CHEM 713 - Chemistry of Inorganic Solid State Materials
    • Taught in 2018, 2020, 2022
  • MNS 211 - Chemistry and the Solid State
    • Taught in 2018

* Only courses taught in the past 5 years are displayed.

Selected/Recent Publications

  • H. Kleinke, K. Biswas, Virtual Special Issue: Materials for Thermoelectric Energy Conversion (Editorial), ACS Appl. Mater. Interf. 12, 47113 - 47114 (2020).
  • L. T. Menezes, A. Assoud, W. Zhang, P. S. Halasyamani, H. Kleinke, Effect of Pb Substitution in Sr2-xPbxGeSe4 on Crystal Structures and Nonlinear Optical Properties Predicted by DFT Calculations, Inorg. Chem. 59, 15028 - 15035 (2020).
  • N. Farahi, D. Y. N. Truong, C. Stiewe, H. Kleinke, E. Müller, Half-Heusler Thermoelectric Materials for Waste Heat Recovery, in: Thermoelectric Materials: Principles and Concepts for Enhanced Properties, pp. 63 - 98, eds: K. Kurosaki, Y. Takagiwa, X. Shi, Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin, Germany (2020).
  • D. C. Ramirez, L. R. Macario, X. Cheng, M. Cino, D. Walsh, Y.-C. Tseng, H. Kleinke, Large Scale Solid State Synthetic Technique for High Performance Thermoelectric Materials: Magnesium-Silicide-Stannide, ACS Appl. Energy Mater. 3, 2130 - 2136 (2020).
  • View all Holger Kleinke's publications on his research website: https://kleinke.uwaterloo.ca/publ.html