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Issue 48, 2015
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Thermoelectricity at the molecular scale: a large Seebeck effect in endohedral metallofullerenes

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Abstract

Single molecule devices provide a unique system to study the thermoelectric energy conversion at an atomistic level and can provide valuable information for the design of organic thermoelectric materials. Here we present a comprehensive study of the thermoelectric transport properties of molecular junctions based on C82, Gd@C82, and Ce@C82. We combine precise scanning tunneling microscope break-junction measurements of the thermopower and conductance with quantitatively accurate self-energy-corrected first-principles transport calculations. We find that all three fullerene derivatives give rise to a negative thermopower (n-conducting). The absolute value, however, is much larger for the Gd@C82 and Ce@C82 junctions. The conductance, on the other hand, remains comparable for all three systems. The power factor determined for the Gd@C82 based junction is so far the highest obtained for a single-molecule device. Although the encapsulated metal atom does not directly contribute to the transport, we show that the observed enhancement of the thermopower for Gd@C82 and Ce@C82 is elucidated by the substantial changes in the electronic- and geometrical structure of the fullerene molecule induced by the encapsulated metal atom.

Graphical abstract: Thermoelectricity at the molecular scale: a large Seebeck effect in endohedral metallofullerenes

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
10 Aug 2015
Accepted
27 Oct 2015
First published
03 Nov 2015

Nanoscale, 2015,7, 20497-20502
Article type
Paper

Thermoelectricity at the molecular scale: a large Seebeck effect in endohedral metallofullerenes

S. K. Lee, M. Buerkle, R. Yamada, Y. Asai and H. Tada, Nanoscale, 2015, 7, 20497
DOI: 10.1039/C5NR05394C

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