Thermoshape effect for energy harvesting with nanostructures

Sisman A., Aydin A., Fransson J.

JOURNAL OF PHYSICS D-APPLIED PHYSICS, vol.53, no.37, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 53 Issue: 37
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1088/1361-6463/ab9261
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Aerospace Database, Applied Science & Technology Source, Chemical Abstracts Core, Communication Abstracts, Compendex, Computer & Applied Sciences, INSPEC, Metadex, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


We propose a mechanism for nanoscale energy conversion, an electric voltage induced by a temperature gradient in a junction composed of the same material having exactly the same geometric sizes, but distinct shapes. The proposed effect appears as a result of only temperature and shape difference, hence it is called thermoshape effect. For GaAs quantum confined semiconductor nanostructures, we first introduce the existence of quantum shape effects on thermoelectric transport coefficients at ballistic regime. We show that the shape alone enters as a control parameter on transport properties of confined nanostructures. The thermoshape voltage is then calculated by using the Landauer formalism. Our calculations show that the thermoshape voltage has a constant value in the order of mV K(-1)for the variation of chemical potential in non-degenerate regime and it decreases rapidly after entering weakly degenerate regime where it oscillates around zero within plus/minus 10 mu V K(-1)magnitude. A persistent voltage range may pave the way for easier experimental demonstration of the effect. Our work explicitly shows how important the effect of overall geometry is in nanoscale thermoelectric materials, and can be utilized even if all sizes are the same. A thermoshape junction not only represents a viable setup for the macroscopic manifestation of quantum shape effects, but also constitutes their first possible device application.