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Portrait of Heiner Linke; Photo: Kennet Ruona

Heiner Linke

Professor, Deputy dean (prorektor) at Faculty of Engineering, LTH

Portrait of Heiner Linke; Photo: Kennet Ruona

Thermoelectric performance of classical topological insulator nanowires


  • Johannes Gooth
  • Jan-Göran Gluschke
  • Robert Zierold
  • Martin Leijnse
  • Heiner Linke
  • Kornelius Nielsch

Summary, in English

There is currently substantial effort being invested into creating efficient thermoelectric (TE) nanowires based on topological insulator (TI) chalcogenide-type materials. A key premise of these efforts is the assumption that the generally good TE properties that these materials exhibit in bulk form will translate into similarly good or even better TE performance of the same materials in nanowire form. Here, we calculate TE performance of TI nanowires based on Bi2Te3, Sb2Te3 and Bi2Se3 as a function of diameter and Fermi level. We show that the TE performance of TI nanowires does not derive from the properties of the bulk material in a straightforward way. For all investigated systems the competition between surface states and bulk channel causes a significant modification of the TE transport coefficients if the diameter is reduced into the sub 10 mu m range. Key aspects are that the surface and bulk states are optimized at different Fermi levels or have different polarity as well as the high surface to volume ratio of the nanowires. This limits the maximum TE performance of TI nanowires and thus their application in efficient TE devices.


  • Solid State Physics
  • NanoLund: Center for Nanoscience

Publishing year





Semiconductor Science and Technology





Document type

Journal article


IOP Publishing


  • Condensed Matter Physics


  • semiconductor nanowires
  • thermoelectric nanostructures
  • classical
  • topological insulator
  • Bi2Te3
  • layered materials




  • ISSN: 0268-1242