Thermoelectric properties of Mexican-hat band structures

M Nurhuda, A R T Nugraha, M Y Hanna, E Suprayoga and E H Hasdeo

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Materials with Mexican-hat electronic energy dispersions emerging from heterostructures, substrate effects, or spin–orbit couplings are believed to exhibit excellent thermoelectric properties due to its van Hove singularity of density of states in two-dimension. However, within a constant relaxation time approximation, we disprove this belief and we find that the singularity effect is cancelled down by the group velocity contribution in the thermoelectric transport distribution. Nevertheless, the band parameters can still be optimised to reach thermoelectric figure of merit larger than 2 in a wide bandwidth, thus keeping the potential of materials with Mexican-hat bands for thermoelectric applications.
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