Thermoelectric Power Factor Limit of a 1D Nanowire

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In the past decade, there has been significant interest in the potentially advantageous thermoelectric properties of one-dimensional (1D) nanowires, but it has been challenging to find high thermoelectric power factors based on 1D effects in practice. Here we point out that there is an upper limit to the thermoelectric power factor of nonballistic 1D nanowires, as a consequence of the recently established quantum bound of thermoelectric power output. We experimentally test this limit in quasiballistic InAs nanowires by extracting the maximum power factor of the first 1D subband through I-V characterization, finding that the measured maximum power factors conform to the theoretical limit. The established limit allows the prediction of the achievable power factor of a specific nanowire material system with 1D electronic transport based on the nanowire dimension and mean free path. The power factor of state-of-the-art semiconductor nanowires with small cross section and high crystal quality can be expected to be highly competitive (on the order of mW/m K2) at low temperatures. However, they have no clear advantage over bulk materials at, or above, room temperature.


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Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Nanoteknik
TidskriftPhysical Review Letters
Utgåva nummer17
StatusPublished - 2018 apr 24
Peer review utfördJa