Strain-induced bi-thermoelectricity in tapered carbon nanotubes

Algharagholy, L. A.A. and Pope, T. and Lambert, C. J. (2018) Strain-induced bi-thermoelectricity in tapered carbon nanotubes. Journal of Physics Condensed Matter, 30 (10). ISSN 0953-8984

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We show that carbon-based nanostructured materials are a novel testbed for controlling thermoelectricity and have the potential to underpin the development of new cost-effective environmentally-friendly thermoelectric materials. In single-molecule junctions, it is known that transport resonances associated with the discrete molecular levels play a key role in the thermoelectric performance, but such resonances have not been exploited in carbon nanotubes (CNTs). Here we study junctions formed from tapered CNTs and demonstrate that such structures possess transport resonances near the Fermi level, whose energetic location can be varied by applying strain, resulting in an ability to tune the sign of their Seebeck coefficient. These results reveal that tapered CNTs form a new class of bi-thermoelectric materials, exhibiting both positive and negative thermopower. This ability to change the sign of the Seebeck coefficient allows the thermovoltage in carbon-based thermoelectric devices to be boosted by placing CNTs with alternating-sign Seebeck coefficients in tandem.

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Journal Article
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Journal of Physics Condensed Matter
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This is an author-created, un-copyedited version of an article accepted for publication/published in Journal of Physics Condensed Matter. IOP Publishing Ltd is not responsible for any errors or omissions in this version of the manuscript or any version derived from it. The Version of Record is available online at doi:10.1088/1361-648X/aaa872
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15 Jan 2020 11:45
Last Modified:
19 Sep 2023 02:17