Study of thermoelectric effects in nanostructures gives important additional information about charge transport, also regarding possible life-time limiting phenomena and applications for the conversion of light energy via heat into electrical energy. The scope of this project is to gain deep insight into the charge transport mechanism, by studying thermo-voltage effects of metallic atomic-sized contacts, at low temperatures. Using a mechanically-controlled break junction (MCBJ) mechanism, we are able to use a laser as a heat source for the creation of a temperature difference (∆T), while measuring the thermo-voltage obtained through the junction. A technique to create and detect the temperature gradient was established.

a) Spatially resolved measurements of the thermo-voltage across the junction. The data is presented over an optical image. b) A temperature difference (∆T) map, in which ∆T is measured in every lasing position across the sample. The orange structure represents the gold structure.


Möller, Thomas B.; Ganser, Andreas; Kratt, Martina; Dickreuter, Simon; Waitz, Reimar; Scheer, Elke; Boneberg, Johannes; Leiderer, Paul, Fast quantitative optical detection of heat dissipation by surface plasmon polaritons, Nanoscale ; 10 (2018)

Ayelet Ofarim, Bastian Kopp, Thomas Möller, León Martin, Johannes Boneberg, Paul Leiderer and Elke Scheer, Beilstein J. Nanotechnol. 2016, 7, 767–775. doi:10.3762/bjnano.7.68

Kopp, Bastian (2016): Thermopower of Atomic-Size Contacts at Low Temperature 

Kopp, Bastian; Benner, Daniel; Yi, Zhiwei; Boneberg, Johannes; Xie, F.; Obermair, C.; Leiderer, Paul; Scheer, Elke; Schimmel, Thomas (2013): Light-Induced Effects in the Electronic Transport through Atomic Metal Point Contacts Advances in nanotechnology - physics, chemistry, and biology of nanostructures : results of the third research programme Kompetenznetz "Funktionelle Nanostrukturen "(Competence Network on Functional Nanostructures) / Schimmel, Thomas et al. (Hrsg.). - Stuttgart : Baden-Württemberg Stiftung, 2013. - S. 257-274

Kopp, Bastian; Yi, Zhiwei; Benner, Daniel; Xie, Fang-Qing; Obermair, Christian; Schimmel, Thomas; Boneberg, Johannes; Leiderer, Paul; Scheer, Elke (2012): Revealing thermal effects in the electronic transport through irradiated atomic metal point contacts Beilstein Journal of Nanotechnology ; 3 (2012). - S. 703-711.


Contributors: Thomas Möller
Former contributors: Ayelet Ofarim, Bastian Kopp
External cooperations: AG Huhn, K. Costuas, S. Rigaut (Univ Rennes), J. Cornil (Univ Mons)
Fundings: SFB767 C2