Enhanced thermoelectric performance of hybrid nanoparticle-single-molecule junctions

Elinor Zerah-Harush, Yonatan Dubi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It was recently suggested that molecular junctions would be excellent elements for efficient and high-power thermoelectric energy-conversion devices. However, experimental measurements of thermoelectric conversion in molecular junctions indicate rather poor efficiency, raising the question of whether it is indeed possible to design a setup for molecular junctions that will exhibit enhanced thermoelectric performance. Here we suggest that hybrid single-molecule-nanoparticle junctions can serve as efficient thermoelectric converters. The introduction of a semiconducting nanoparticle introduces new tuning capabilities, which are absent in conventional metal-molecule-metal junctions. Using a generic model for the molecule and nanoparticle with realistic parameters, we demonstrate that the thermopower can be of the order of hundreds of microvolts per degree kelvin and that the thermoelectric figure of merit can reach values close to 1, an improvement of 4 orders of magnitude over existing measurements. This favorable performance persists over a wide range of experimentally relevant parameters and is robust against disorder (in the form of surface-attached molecules) and against electron decoherence at the nanoparticle-molecule interface.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number064017
JournalPhysical Review Applied
Issue number6
StatePublished - 23 Jun 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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