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Oxidation-enhanced thermoelectric efficiency in a two-dimensional phosphorene oxide
Scientific Reports  (IF4.379),  Pub Date : 2021-09-17, DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-97943-8
Seungjun Lee, Jeong-Pil Song, Seoung-Hun Kang, Young-Kyun Kwon

We performed density functional theory calculations to investigate the thermoelectric properties of phosphorene oxide (PO) expected to form by spontaneous oxidation of phosphorene. Since thermoelectric features by nature arise from the consequences of the electron-phonon interaction, we computed the phonon-mediated electron relaxation time, which was fed into the semiclassical Boltzmann transport equation to be solved for various thermoelectric-related quantities. It was found that PO exhibits superior thermoelectric performance compared with its pristine counterpart, which has been proposed to be a candidate for the use of future thermoelectric applications. We revealed that spontaneous oxidation of phosphorene leads to a significant enhancement in the thermoelectric properties of n-doped phosphorene oxide, which is attributed to the considerable reduction of lattice thermal conductivity albeit a small decrease in electrical conductivity. Our results suggest that controlling oxidation may be utilized to improve thermoelectric performance in nanostructures, and PO can be a promising candidate for low-dimensional thermoelectric devices.