Enhanced thermoelectric properties in hybrid graphene-boron nitride nanoribbons

Physical Review B 86, 045425 (2012)

Enhanced thermoelectric properties in hybrid graphene-boron nitride nanoribbons

Kaike Yang, Yuanping Chen, Roberto D'Agosta, Yuee Xie, Jianxin Zhong, Angel Rubio

The thermoelectric properties of hybrid graphene-boron nitride nanoribbons (BCNNRs) are investigated using the non-equilibrium Green’s function (NEGF) approach. We find that the thermoelectric figure of merit (ZT) can be remarkably enhanced by periodically embedding hexagonal BN (h-BN) into graphene nanoribbons (GNRs). Compared to pristine GNRs, the ZT for armchair-edged BCNNRs with width index 3p+2 is enhanced up to 10~20 times while the ZT of nanoribbons with other widths is enhanced just by 1.5~3 times. As for zigzag-edge nanoribbons, the ZT is enhanced up to 2~3 times. This improvement comes from the combined increase in the Seebeck coefficient and the reduction in the thermal conductance outweighing the decrease in the electrical conductance. In addition, the effect of component ratio of h-BN on the thermoelectric transport properties is discussed. These results qualify BCNNRs as a promising candidate for building outstanding thermoelectric devices.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevB.86.045425

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