Thermoelectric devices that utilize the Seebeck effect convert heat flow into electrical energy and are highly desirable for the development of portable, solid state, passively powered electronic systems. The conversion efficiencies of such devices are quantified by the dimensionless thermoelectric figure of merit (ZT), which is proportional to the ratio of a device's electrical conductance to its thermal conductance. In this paper, a recently fabricated two-dimensional (2D) semiconductor called phosphorene (monolayer black phosphorus) is assessed for its thermoelectric capabilities. First-principles and model calculations reveal not only that phosphorene possesses a spatially anisotropic electrical conductance, but that its lattice thermal conductance exhibits a pronounced spatial-anisotropy as well. The prominent electrical and thermal conducting directions are orthogonal to one another, enhancing the ratio of these conductances. As a result, ZT may reach the criterion for commercial deployment along the armchair direction of phosphorene at T = 500 K and is close to 1 even at room temperature given moderate doping (?2 × 10(16) m(-2) or 2 × 10(12) cm(-2)). Ultimately, phosphorene hopefully stands out as an environmentally sound thermoelectric material with unprecedented qualities. Intrinsically, it is a mechanically flexible material that converts heat energy with high efficiency at low temperatures (?300 K), one whose performance does not require any sophisticated engineering techniques.
Newly fabricated few-layer black phosphorus and its monolayer structure, phosphorene, are expected to be promising for electronic and optical applications because of their finite direct band gaps and sizable but anisotropic electronic mobility. By first-principles simulations, we show that this unique anisotropic free-carrier mobility can be controlled by using simple strain conditions. With the appropriate biaxial or uniaxial strain (4-6%), we can rotate the preferred conducting direction by 90°. This will be useful for exploring unusual quantum Hall effects and exotic electronic and mechanical applications based on phosphorene.
Opening a sizable band gap without degrading its high carrier mobility is as vital for silicene as for graphene to its application as a high-performance field effect transistor (FET). Our density functional theory calculations predict that a band gap is opened in silicene by single-side adsorption of alkali atom as a result of sublattice or bond symmetry breaking. The band gap size is controllable by changing the adsorption coverage, with an impressive maximum band gap up to 0.50 eV. The ab initio quantum transport simulation of a bottom-gated FET based on a sodium-covered silicene reveals a transport gap, which is consistent with the band gap, and the resulting on/off current ratio is up to 10(8). Therefore, a way is paved for silicene as the channel of a high-performance FET.
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