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Efficient thermoelectric energy conversion on quasi-localized electron states in diameter modulated nanowires

Xanthippi Zianni

Author Affiliations

Department of Applied Sciences, Technological Institution of Chalkida, Psachna, 34400 Evia, Greece

Nanoscale Research Letters 2011, 6:286  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-286

Published: 4 April 2011


It is known that the thermoelectric efficiency of nanowires increases when their diameter decreases. Recently, we proposed that increase of the thermoelectric efficiency could be achieved by modulating the diameter of the nanowires. We showed that the electron thermoelectric properties depend strongly on the geometry of the diameter modulation. Moreover, it has been shown by another group that the phonon conductivity decreases in nanowires when they are modulated by dots. Here, the thermoelectric efficiency of diameter modulated nanowires is estimated, in the ballistic regime, by taking into account the electron and phonon transmission properties. It is demonstrated that quasi-localized states can be formed that are prosperous for efficient thermoelectric energy conversion.