Electron-Transfer-Induced Thermal and Thermoelectric Rectification

Galen T. Craven, Dahai He, Abraham Nitzan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Controlling the direction and magnitude of both heat and electronic currents using rectifiers has significant implications for the advancement of molecular circuit design. In order to facilitate the implementation of new transport phenomena in such molecular structures, we examine thermal and thermoelectric rectification effects that are induced by an electron transfer process that occurs across a temperature gradient between molecules. Historically, the only known heat conduction mechanism able to generate thermal rectification in purely molecular environments is phononic heat transport. Here, we show that electron transfer between molecular sites with different local temperatures can also generate a thermal rectification effect and that electron hopping through molecular bridges connecting metal leads at different temperatures gives rise to asymmetric Seebeck effects, that is, thermoelectric rectification, in molecular junctions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number247704
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number24
StatePublished - 14 Dec 2018


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