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High thermoelectric figure of merit in silicon-germanium superlattice structured nanowires

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By using a combination of the first-principles density functional theory and nonequilibrium Green's function for electron and phonon transport, we investigate the thermoelectric properties of silicon-germanium superlattice nanowires (NWs). Our results show that introducing superlattice structures always increases thermoelectric figure of merit, ZT, which depends on the periodic length of the superlattice NWs. For n-type superlattice NWs, the achievable maximum ZT is 4.7, which is 5-fold increase as compared to the equivalent pristine silicon NWs. For p-type wires, the achieved maximum ZT is 2.74, which is 4.6-fold increase as compared to the pristine silicon NWs.

Published in:

Applied Physics Letters  (Volume:101 ,  Issue: 23 )

Date of Publication:

Dec 2012

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