Earth-Abundant and Non-Toxic SiX (X = S, Se) Monolayers as Highly Efficient Thermoelectric Materials

Jihui Yang, Qinghong Yuan, Huixiong Deng, Boris Yakobson, Su-Huai Wei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus Citations


Current thermoelectric (TE) materials often have low performance or contain less abundant and/or toxic elements, thus limiting their large-scale applications. Therefore, new TE materials with high efficiency and low cost are strongly desirable. Here we demonstrate that SiS and SiSe monolayers made from nontoxic and earth-abundant elements intrinsically have low thermal conductivities arising from their low-frequency optical phonon branches with large overlaps with acoustic phonon modes, which is similar to the state-of-the-art experimentally demonstrated material SnSe with a layered structure. Together with high thermal power factors due to their two-dimensional nature, they show promising TE performances with large figure of merit (ZT) values exceeding 1 or 2 over a wide range of temperatures. We establish some basic understanding of identifying layered materials with low thermal conductivities, which can guide and stimulate the search and study of other layered materials for TE applications.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)123-128
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2017

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5K00-68063


  • conductivity
  • layered materials
  • thermoelectric materials


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