Efficiency bounds on thermoelectric transport in magnetic fields: The role of inelastic processes

Kaoru Yamamoto, Ora Entin-Wohlman, Amnon Aharony, Naomichi Hatano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations

Abstract

We examine the efficiency of an effective two-terminal thermoelectric device under broken time-reversal symmetry. The setup is derived from a three-terminal thermoelectric device comprising a thermal terminal and two electronic contacts, under a magnetic field. We find that breaking time-reversal symmetry in the presence of the inelastic electron-phonon processes can significantly enhance the figure of merit for delivering electric power by supplying heat from a phonon bath, beyond the one for producing the electric power by investing thermal power from the electronic heat current. The efficiency of such a device is bounded by the non-negativity of the entropy production of the original three-terminal junction. The efficiency at maximal power can be quite close to the Carnot efficiency, but then the electric power vanishes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number121402
JournalPhysical Review B
Volume94
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - 8 Sep 2016

Funding

FundersFunder number
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science15K05207, 16J11542, 15K05200, 26400409
University of Tokyo
Ministry of Science and Technology, Israel3-11173

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