Thermoelectric Phenomena from Macro-Systems to Nano-Systems

  • K. A. Chao
  • Magnus Larsson
Part of the Springer Series in Solid-State Sciences book series (SSSOL, volume 156)


The simplest thermoelectric system is a closed loop made with two different metals connected in the form of junctions at both ends. In 1822–1823 Seebeck discovered an electric current owing through the loop when the junctions are kept at different temperatures, the so-called Seebeck effect. This system then works as a thermoelectric power generator. Since the electric current flows through both metals of the closed loop system, in each metallic branch there exists a voltage difference V between its two ends. Let us consider the simpler case of one conductor in which a relevant electric field E associated to V is created by a gradient ∇T of the temperature T. The above mentioned experiment suggests a relation E = ST, (1) where S is the Seebeck coefficient or the thermopower.


Thermoelectric Material Alloy Layer Bias Voltage Versus Relaxation Time Approximation Thermoelectric Power Generator 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. A. Chao
    • 1
  • Magnus Larsson
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PhysicsLund UniversityLundSweden
  2. 2.Nanofreeze Technologies Lund ABLundSweden

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