Theory of thermoelectric properties updated after 23 years
Since the Hicks-Dresselhaus publication in 1993, the researchers have focused the low dimensional materials (2D or 1D) for searching the high thermoelectric material according to their theory of the confinement effect on 1D and 2D thermoelectricity, which was successful.
However, they notice that some 1D nanowire or 2D materials do not show enhancement of the thermoelectric power even though the confinement length L is sufficiently small.
The new paper by Nguyen points out that "thermal de Broglie wavelength" is an important parameter to the enhancement of thermoelectricity. Thermoelectric power is enhanced only when the confinement length is smaller than the thermal de Broglie wavelength.
This theory gives a precise direction of the material research for better thermoelectric materials in the future.
More information: Nguyen T. Hung et al. Quantum Effects in the Thermoelectric Power Factor of Low-Dimensional Semiconductors, Physical Review Letters (2016). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.117.036602
Journal information: Physical Review Letters
Provided by Tohoku University