Quantum confinement effects in bismuth (Bi) nanowires (NWs) are predicted to impart them with high thermopower values and hence make them efficient thermoelectric materials. Yet, boundary scattering of charge carriers in these NWs operating in the diffusion transport regime mask any quantum effects and impede their use for nanoscale thermoelectric applications. Here we demonstrate quantum confinement effects in Bi NWs by forming in their structure ballistic quantum point contacts (QPCs) leading to exceptionally high thermopower values (S > 2 mV/K). The power factor, S 2G, of the QPCs is maximized at G ∼ 0.25G 0 (where G 0 is the quantum of conductance) within agreement with a one-band model with step edge characteristics.
|Number of pages||5|
|State||Published - 8 Feb 2012|
- Seebeck coefficient
- quantum confinement
- quantum point contact