RESEARCH PAPERS: Contact Conductance

Thermoelectric Voltage at Metallic Point Contacts From Nonequilibrium Effects

[+] Author and Article Information
K. Ito, K. Hijikata

Department of Mechano-Aerospace Engineering, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 2-12-1 Ohokayama, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 152 Japan

K. Torikoshi

Mechanical Engineering Laboratory, Daikin Industries Ltd., Sakaishi, Osaka 591, Japan

P. E. Phelan

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2540 Dole St., Holmes 302, Honolulu, HI 96822

J. Heat Transfer 117(4), 822-827 (Nov 01, 1995) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2836297 History: Received November 01, 1994; Revised July 01, 1995; Online January 23, 2008


This paper presents results for thermoelectric voltage experiments carried out with metallic point contacts. The motivation for this work is the fundamental understanding of the nonequilibrium state between electrons and phonons, and for applying this phenomenon to a point temperature measurement of small heating elements like an LSI (Large-Scale Integration) electronic chip. The experiments were carried out by using gold, silver, copper, and tungsten point contacts under cryogenic conditions, and a heat flux through the point contact was applied via a temperature difference across the contact. In this condition, thermoelectric voltages appeared even when the entire open circuit consisted of only one material. This phenomenon was explained theoretically by considering the nonequilibrium effect between the phonon and electron temperatures, and the geometric effect at the point contact. Good agreement was found between the theory and the experiment.

Copyright © 1995 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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