Thermopower of single-molecule devices

Jens Koch*, Felix Von Oppen, Yuval Oreg, Eran Sela

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

197 Scopus citations


We investigate the thermopower of single molecules weakly coupled to metallic leads. We model the molecule in terms of the relevant electronic orbitals coupled to phonons corresponding to both internal vibrations and to oscillations of the molecule as a whole. The thermopower is computed by means of rate equations including both sequential-tunneling and cotunneling processes. Under certain conditions, the thermopower allows one to access the electronic and phononic excitation spectrum of the molecule in a linear-response measurement. In particular, we find that the phonon features are more pronounced for weak lead-molecule coupling. This way of measuring the excitation spectrum is less invasive than the more conventional current-voltage characteristic, which, by contrast, probes the system far from equilibrium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number195107
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number19
StatePublished - Nov 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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