Volume 87, Number 5, September 2009
|Number of page(s)||4|
|Section||Condensed Matter: Electronic Structure, Electrical, Magnetic and Optical Properties|
|Published online||24 September 2009|
Thermoelectric performance of weakly coupled granular materials
Materials Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory - Argonne, IL 60439, USA
2 Department of Physics and Astronomy, California State University Northridge - Northridge, CA 91330, USA
Accepted: 26 August 2009
We study thermoelectric properties of inhomogeneous nanogranular materials for weak tunneling conductance between the grains, . We calculate the thermopower and figure of merit taking into account the shift of the chemical potential and the asymmetry of the density of states in the vicinity of the Fermi surface. We show that the weak coupling between the grains leads to a high thermopower and low thermal conductivity resulting in relatively high values of the figure of merit on the order of one. We estimate the temperature at which the figure of merit has its maximum value for two- and three-dimensional samples. Our results are applicable for many emerging materials, including artificially self-assembled nanoparticle arrays.
PACS: 73.63.-b – Electronic transport in nanoscale materials and structures / 72.15.Jf – Thermoelectric and thermomagnetic effects / 73.23.Hk – Coulomb blockade; single electron tunneling
© EPLA, 2009
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