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Title: Optimal Bandwidth for High Efficiency Thermoelectrics

Abstract

The thermoelectric figure of merit (ZT) in narrow conduction bands of different material dimensionalities is investigated for different carrier scattering models. When the bandwidth is zero, the transport distribution function (TDF) is finite, not infinite as previously speculated by Mahan and Sofo [Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 93, 7436 (1996)], even though the carrier density of states goes to infinity. Such a finite TDF results in a zero electrical conductivity and thus a zero ZT. We point out that the optimal ZT cannot be found in an extremely narrow conduction band. The existence of an optimal bandwidth for a maximal ZT depends strongly on the scattering models and the dimensionality of the material. A nonzero optimal bandwidth for maximizing ZT also depends on the lattice thermal conductivity. A larger maximum ZT can be obtained for materials with a smaller lattice thermal conductivity.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [2];  [3]
  1. Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States). Dept. of Mechanical Engineering
  2. Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States). Dept. of Mechanical Engineering
  3. Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States). Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Dept. of Physics
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRC) (United States). Solid-State Solar-Thermal Energy Conversion Center (S3TEC); Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
OSTI Identifier:
1387006
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1101241
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0001299; FG02-09ER46577
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physical Review Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 107; Journal Issue: 22; Related Information: S3TEC partners with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (lead); Boston College; Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; Journal ID: ISSN 0031-9007
Publisher:
American Physical Society (APS)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
42 ENGINEERING; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE

Citation Formats

Zhou, Jun, Yang, Ronggui, Chen, Gang, and Dresselhaus, Mildred S. Optimal Bandwidth for High Efficiency Thermoelectrics. United States: N. p., 2011. Web. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.107.226601.
Zhou, Jun, Yang, Ronggui, Chen, Gang, & Dresselhaus, Mildred S. Optimal Bandwidth for High Efficiency Thermoelectrics. United States. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.107.226601.
Zhou, Jun, Yang, Ronggui, Chen, Gang, and Dresselhaus, Mildred S. Tue . "Optimal Bandwidth for High Efficiency Thermoelectrics". United States. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.107.226601. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1387006.
@article{osti_1387006,
title = {Optimal Bandwidth for High Efficiency Thermoelectrics},
author = {Zhou, Jun and Yang, Ronggui and Chen, Gang and Dresselhaus, Mildred S.},
abstractNote = {The thermoelectric figure of merit (ZT) in narrow conduction bands of different material dimensionalities is investigated for different carrier scattering models. When the bandwidth is zero, the transport distribution function (TDF) is finite, not infinite as previously speculated by Mahan and Sofo [Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 93, 7436 (1996)], even though the carrier density of states goes to infinity. Such a finite TDF results in a zero electrical conductivity and thus a zero ZT. We point out that the optimal ZT cannot be found in an extremely narrow conduction band. The existence of an optimal bandwidth for a maximal ZT depends strongly on the scattering models and the dimensionality of the material. A nonzero optimal bandwidth for maximizing ZT also depends on the lattice thermal conductivity. A larger maximum ZT can be obtained for materials with a smaller lattice thermal conductivity.},
doi = {10.1103/PhysRevLett.107.226601},
journal = {Physical Review Letters},
number = 22,
volume = 107,
place = {United States},
year = {2011},
month = {11}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 42 works
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Figures / Tables:

TABLE I TABLE I: TDF for the four scattering models: uncertainty principle; constant relaxation time; relaxation time inversely proportional to the DOS; and constant carrier MFP, where ξα =Wα .

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    Works referencing / citing this record:

    Improving the Power Factor and the Role of Impurity Bands
    journal, October 2012


      Figures/Tables have been extracted from DOE-funded journal article accepted manuscripts.