A computational study of the thermoelectric performance of ultrathin Bi2Te3 films

Jesse Maassen, Birck Nanotechnology Center, Purdue University
Mark S. Lundstrom, Birck Nanotechnology Center, Purdue University

Date of this Version



DOI: 10.1063/1.4794534


The ballistic thermoelectric performance of ultrathin films of Bi2Te3, ranging in thickness from 1 to 6 quintuple layers, is analyzed using density functional theory combined with the Landauer approach. Our results show that the thinnest film, corresponding to a single quintuple layer, has an intrinsic advantage originating from the particular shape of its valence band, leading to a large power factor and figure-of-merit exceeding bulk Bi2Te3. The interaction between the top and bottom topological surface states is key. The thinnest film yields a six-fold increase in power factor compared to bulk. (C) 2013 American Institute of Physics. [http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4794534]


Nanoscience and Nanotechnology