Researchers probe the ‘full’ thermoelectric properties of a single molecule


One of the dreams of physicists today is being able to harvest electricity back from dissipated heat. The key to this probably resides in circuits that contain single molecules. Instead of being limited to classical conductance, the thermopower can be enhanced dramatically by the properties of quantum states. But then, what quantum states offer good efficiency? What characteristics are desirable? Theory often offers contrasting predictions. Unfortunately, experiments have also not yet provided any proof, since they are notoriously difficult to set up. But now, researchers at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) in collaboration with UC Louvain, University of Oxford, Northwestern University and Heriot-Watt University have done just that. They experimentally probed the gate and bias dependent thermoelectric properties of a single molecule for the very first time. The results have been published in Nature Nanotechnology. Read more