p × n-Type Transverse Thermoelectrics: A Novel Type of Thermal Management Material

Yang Tang, Boya Cui, Chuanle Zhou, Matthew Grayson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


In this paper we review the recently identified p × n-type transverse thermoelectrics and study the thermoelectric properties of the proposed candidate materials. Anisotropic electron and hole conductivity arise from either an artificially engineered band structure or from appropriately anisotropic crystals, and result in orthogonal p-type and n-type directional Seebeck coefficients, inducing a non-zero off-diagonal transverse Seebeck coefficient with appropriately oriented currents. Such materials have potential for new applications of thermoelectric materials in transverse Peltier cooling and transverse thermal energy harvesting. In this paper we review general transverse thermoelectric phenomena to identify advantages of p × n-type transverse thermoelectrics compared with previously studied transverse thermoelectric phenomena. An intuitive overview of the band structure of one such p × n-material, the InAs/GaSb type-II superlattice, is introduced, and the plot of thermoelectric performance as a function of superlattice structure is calculated, as an example of how band structures can be optimized for the best transverse thermoelectric performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2095-2104
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Electronic Materials
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015


  • InAs/GaSb type-II superlattice
  • Peltier cooling
  • Seebeck effect
  • Transverse thermoelectrics
  • integrated thermal management
  • p × n

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry


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