Thermoelectric effects in nanoscale junctions

Yonatan Dubi, Massimiliano Di Ventra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

148 Scopus citations
48 Downloads (Pure)


Despite its intrinsic nonequilibrium origin, thermoelectricity in nanoscale systems is usually described within a static scattering approach which disregards the dynamlcal interaction with the thermal baths that maintain energy flow. Using the theory of open quantum systems, we show instead that unexpected properties, such as a resonant structure and large sign sensitivity, emerge if the nonequilibrium nature of this probtem is considered. Our approach also allows us to define and study a local temperature, which shows hot spots and osciliations along the system according to the coupling of the latter to the electrodes. This demonstrates that Fouríer's law-a paradigm of statistical mechanics-is generally violated in nanoscale junctions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-101
Number of pages5
JournalNano Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • cond-mat.mes-hall
  • cond-mat.mtrl-sci

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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