Diffusive and ballistic thermo-electric transport

Ali Shakouri, Birck Nanotechnology Center, Purdue University

Date of this Version



AIP Conf. Proc. 1519, 40 (2013)


Copyright 2013 American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics. The following article appeared in AIP Conf. Proc. 1519, 40 (2013) and may be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4794705. The following article has been submitted to/accepted by Conference Proceedings, Nobel Symposium 153: Nanoscale Energy Converter. Copyright 2013 Ali Shakouri. This article is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.


The efficiency of existing thermoelectric power generators is much lower than mechanical engines. We discuss the similarities and differences between solid-state thermoelectric devices and other thermal engines. In nanostructured materials, non-equilibrium energy and current transport could be important. We describe the transition between ballistic and diffusive regimes and how this can alter the thermoelectric effects and improve the energy conversion efficiency.


Nanoscience and Nanotechnology