On Electronic Structure Engineering and Thermoelectric Performance

Changwook Jeong, Birck Nanotechnology Center, Purdue University
Mark S. Lundstrom, Birck Nanotechnology Center, Purdue University

Date of this Version



Jeong, C. & Lundstrom, M. Journal of Elec Materi (2011) 40: 738. doi:10.1007/s11664-011-1533-0


In this paper, we address the question of how to engineer the electronic structure to enhance the performance of a thermoelectric material. We examine several different materials and show that all of them, even those for which giant Seebeck coefficients have been predicted, display a value that is expected from conventional thermoelectric theory. For molecular thermoelectrics, we show that the detailed lineshape plays an important role. Finally, using III-V alloy semiconductors as a model system, we explore the role of electronic structure in the Seebeck coefficient, electrical conductivity, and power factor. In the process, some general guidelines for engineering the electronic component of thermoelectric performance are identified.


Nanoscience and Nanotechnology