Nanowire-based thermoelectrics. Academic Article uri icon


  • Research on thermoelectrics has seen a huge resurgence since the early 1990s. The ability of tuning a material's electrical and thermal transport behavior upon nanostructuring has led to this revival. Nevertheless, thermoelectric performances of nanowires and related materials lag far behind those achieved with thin-film superlattices and quantum dot-based materials. This is despite the fact that nanowires offer many distinct advantages in enhancing the thermoelectric performances of materials. The simplicity of the strategy is the first and foremost advantage. For example, control of the nanowire diameters and their surface roughnesses will aid in enhancing their thermoelectric performances. Another major advantage is the possibility of obtaining high thermoelectric performances using simpler nanowire chemistries (e.g., elemental and binary compound semiconductors), paving the way for the fabrication of thermoelectric modules inexpensively from non-toxic elements. In this context, the topical review provides an overview of the current state of nanowire-based thermoelectrics. It concludes with a discussion of the future vision of nanowire-based thermoelectrics, including the need for developing strategies aimed at the mass production of nanowires and their interface-engineered assembly into devices. This eliminates the need for trial-and-error strategies and complex chemistries for enhancing the thermoelectric performances of materials.

published proceedings

  • Nanotechnology

author list (cited authors)

  • Ali, A., Chen, Y., Vasiraju, V., & Vaddiraju, S.

citation count

  • 23

complete list of authors

  • Ali, Azhar||Chen, Yixi||Vasiraju, Venkata||Vaddiraju, Sreeram

publication date

  • July 2017