Optimum band gap of a thermoelectric material

J. O. Sofo, G. D. Mahan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

222 Scopus citations


Transport properties of direct-gap semiconductors are calculated in order to find the best thermoelectrics. Previous calculations on semiconductors with indirect band gaps found that the best thermoelectrics had gaps equal to nkBT, where n=6-10 and T is the operating temperature of the thermoelectric device. Here we report similar calculations on direct-gap materials. We find that the optimum gap is always greater than 6kBT, but can be much larger depending on the specific mechanism of electron scattering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4565-4570
Number of pages6
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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