Effective Mass from Seebeck Coefficient

Gerald Jeffrey Snyder*, Alessandro Pereyra, Ramya Gurunathan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Engineering semiconductor devices requires an understanding of the effective mass of electrons and holes. Effective masses have historically been determined in metals at cryogenic temperatures estimated using measurements of the electronic specific heat. Instead, by combining measurements of the Seebeck and Hall effects, a density of states effective mass can be determined in doped semiconductors at room temperature and above. Here, a simple method to calculate the electron effective mass using the Seebeck coefficient and an estimate of the free electron or hole concentration, such as that determined from the Hall effect, is introduced (Formula presented.) here (Formula presented.) is the Seebeck effective mass, nH is the charge carrier concentration measured by the Hall effect (nH = 1/eRH, RH is Hall resistance) in 1020 cm−3, T is the absolute temperature in K, S is the Seebeck coefficient, and kB/e = 86.3 μV K−1. This estimate of the effective mass can aid the understanding and engineering of the electronic structure as it is largely independent of scattering and the effects of microstructure (grain boundary resistance). It is particularly helpful in characterizing thermoelectric materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2112772
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number20
StatePublished - May 13 2022


  • Hall effect
  • Seebeck coefficient
  • effective mass
  • electronic transport
  • semiconductor materials
  • thermoelectric materials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Electrochemistry
  • Biomaterials


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