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Nano Lett. 2014 Nov 12;14(11):6393-9. doi: 10.1021/nl502865s. Epub 2014 Sep 30.

Enhanced thermoelectric efficiency via orthogonal electrical and thermal conductances in phosphorene.

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Department of Physics and Institute of Materials Science and Engineering, and ‡Department of Energy, Environmental, and Chemical Engineering, Washington University , St Louis, Missouri, United States.


Thermoelectric devices that utilize the Seebeck effect convert heat flow into electrical energy and are highly desirable for the development of portable, solid state, passively powered electronic systems. The conversion efficiencies of such devices are quantified by the dimensionless thermoelectric figure of merit (ZT), which is proportional to the ratio of a device's electrical conductance to its thermal conductance. In this paper, a recently fabricated two-dimensional (2D) semiconductor called phosphorene (monolayer black phosphorus) is assessed for its thermoelectric capabilities. First-principles and model calculations reveal not only that phosphorene possesses a spatially anisotropic electrical conductance, but that its lattice thermal conductance exhibits a pronounced spatial-anisotropy as well. The prominent electrical and thermal conducting directions are orthogonal to one another, enhancing the ratio of these conductances. As a result, ZT may reach the criterion for commercial deployment along the armchair direction of phosphorene at T = 500 K and is close to 1 even at room temperature given moderate doping (∼2 × 10(16) m(-2) or 2 × 10(12) cm(-2)). Ultimately, phosphorene hopefully stands out as an environmentally sound thermoelectric material with unprecedented qualities. Intrinsically, it is a mechanically flexible material that converts heat energy with high efficiency at low temperatures (∼300 K), one whose performance does not require any sophisticated engineering techniques.


Black phosphorus; anisotropic thermal conductance; phosphorene; thermoelectric


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