We examine the efficiency of an effective two-terminal thermoelectric device under broken time-reversal symmetry. The setup is derived from a three-terminal thermoelectric device comprising a thermal terminal and two electronic contacts, under a magnetic field. We find that breaking time-reversal symmetry in the presence of the inelastic electron-phonon processes can significantly enhance the figure of merit for delivering electric power by supplying heat from a phonon bath, beyond the one for producing the electric power by investing thermal power from the electronic heat current. The efficiency of such a device is bounded by the non-negativity of the entropy production of the original three-terminal junction. The efficiency at maximal power can be quite close to the Carnot efficiency, but then the electric power vanishes.
|Journal||Physical Review B|
|State||Published - 8 Sep 2016|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics