Issue 11, 2020

Molecular-scale thermoelectricity: as simple as ‘ABC’


If the Seebeck coefficient of single molecules or self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) could be predicted from measurements of their conductance–voltage (GV) characteristics alone, then the experimentally more difficult task of creating a set-up to measure their thermoelectric properties could be avoided. This article highlights a novel strategy for predicting an upper bound to the Seebeck coefficient of single molecules or SAMs, from measurements of their GV characteristics. The theory begins by making a fit to measured GV curves using three fitting parameters, denoted a, b, c. This ‘ABC’ theory then predicts a maximum value for the magnitude of the corresponding Seebeck coefficient. This is a useful material parameter, because if the predicted upper bound is large, then the material would warrant further investigation using a full Seebeck-measurement setup. On the other hand, if the upper bound is small, then the material would not be promising and this much more technically demanding set of measurements would be avoided. Histograms of predicted Seebeck coefficients are compared with histograms of measured Seebeck coefficients for six different SAMs, formed from anthracene-based molecules with different anchor groups and are shown to be in excellent agreement.

Graphical abstract: Molecular-scale thermoelectricity: as simple as ‘ABC’

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Article information

Article type
07 Jul 2020
06 Oct 2020
First published
19 Oct 2020
This article is Open Access
Creative Commons BY license

Nanoscale Adv., 2020,2, 5329-5334

Molecular-scale thermoelectricity: as simple as ‘ABC’

A. Ismael, A. Al-Jobory, X. Wang, A. Alshehab, A. Almutlg, M. Alshammari, I. Grace, T. L. R. Benett, L. A. Wilkinson, B. J. Robinson, N. J. Long and C. Lambert, Nanoscale Adv., 2020, 2, 5329 DOI: 10.1039/D0NA00772B

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