Theory of enhancement of thermoelectric properties of materials with nanoinclusions
Physical Review B
Based on the concept of band bending at metal/semiconductor interfaces as an energy filter for electrons, we present a theory for the enhancement of the thermoelectric properties of semiconductor materials with metallic nanoinclusions. We show that the Seebeck coefficient can be significantly increased due to a strongly energy-dependent electronic scattering time. By including phonon scattering, we find that the enhancement of ZT due to electron scattering is important for high doping, while at
... low doping it is primarily due to a decrease in the phonon thermal conductivity.