Thermal transport in individual thermoelectric nanowires: A review

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Extensive research efforts have been devoted to nanowires because of their novel electronic, optical and thermoelectric properties due to spatial confinement in two dimensions. Among various fields, nanowires have been of interest in the thermoelectric community not only for their novel thermoelectric properties but also for their ease of use in fundamental scientific studies as the physics learned using nanowires can be applied in bulk thermoelectric nanocomposites. In this paper, we limit our discussion to experimental thermal transport in thermoelectric nanowires such as Bi-Te, Pb-Te and Si-Ge nanowires. After reviewing the reasons why nanowires are of interest in the thermoelectric community, we discuss various synthesis methods and thermal transport measurements. Next, we evaluated how thermal transport in nanowires is affected by various scattering mechanisms such as phonon boundary scattering, alloy scattering, etc. We also discuss a recent study concerning how the surface roughness affects phonon transport. This article is useful to gain insight into how to manage thermal transport in various applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-385
Number of pages11
JournalEnergy Materials: Materials Science and Engineering for Energy Systems
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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