J.P. Heremans, C. M. Thrush, D.T. Morelli, M. Wu
Because of the increase in the electronic density of states in low-dimensional systems, semiconductor quantum wires constitute a most promising thermoelectricmaterial. We report here the first experimental observation of a very large enhancement of the thermoelectric power of composites containing bismuth nanowires with diameters of 9 and 15 nm, embedded in porous alumina and porous silica. The temperature dependence of the electrical resistance shows that the samples are semiconductors with energy gaps between 0.17 and 0.4 eV, consistent with the theoretical predictions.
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