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Thermoelectric and Seebeck coefficients of granular metals

In this work we present a detailed study and derivation of the thermopower and thermoelectric coefficient of nanogranular metals at large tunneling conductance between the grains, gT>>1. An important criterion for the performance of a thermoelectric device is the thermodynamic figure of merit which is derived using the kinetic coefficients of granular metals. All results are valid at intermediate temperatures, Ec>>T/gT>d, where d is the mean energy-level spacing for a single grain and Ec is its charging energy. We show that the electron-electron interaction leads to an increase in the thermopower with decreasing grain size and discuss our results in light of future generation thermoelectric materials for low-temperature applications. The behavior of the figure of merit depending on system parameters such as grain size, tunneling conductance, and temperature is presented.

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