Giant Thermoelectric Seebeck Coefficients in Tellurium Quantum Wires Formed Vertically in an Aluminum Oxide Layer by Electrical Breakdown

No Won Park, Hanul Kim, Won Yong Lee, Gil Sung Kim, Dae Yun Kang, Tae Geun Kim, Eiji Saitoh, Young Gui Yoon, Heesuk Rho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

High efficiency thermoelectric (TE) materials still require high thermopower for energy harvesting applications. A simple elemental metallic semiconductor, tellurium (Te), has been considered critical to realize highly efficient TE conversion due to having a large effective band valley degeneracy. This paper demonstrates a novel approach to directly probe the out-of-plane Seebeck coefficient for one-dimensional Te quantum wires (QWs) formed locally in the aluminum oxide layer by well-controlled electrical breakdown at 300 K. Surprisingly, the out-of-plane Seebeck coefficient for these Te QWs ≈ 0.8 mV/K at 300 K. This thermopower enhancement for Te QWs is due to Te intrinsic nested band structure and enhanced energy filtering at Te/AO interfaces. Theoretical calculations support the enhanced high Seebeck coefficient for elemental Te QWs in the oxide layer. The local-probed observation and detecting methodology used here offers a novel route to designing enhanced thermoelectric materials and devices in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8212-8219
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Volume12
Issue number34
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Sep 2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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