A strong dependence of the thermopower of germanium crystals on the isotopic composition is experimentally found. The theory of phonon drag of electrons in semiconductors with nondegenerate statistics of current carriers is developed, which takes into account the special features of the relaxation of phonon momentum in the normal processes of phonon-phonon scattering. The effect of the drift motion of phonons on the drag thermopower in germanium crystals of different isotopic compositions is analyzed for two options of relaxation of phonon momentum in the normal processes of phonon scattering. The phonon relaxation times determined from the data on the thermal conductivity of germanium are used in calculating the thermopower. The importance of the inelasticity of electron-phonon scattering in the drag thermopower in semiconductors is analyzed. A qualitative explanation of the isotope effect in the drag thermopower is provided. It is demonstrated that this effect is associated with the drift motion of phonons, which turns out to be very sensitive to isotopic disorder in germanium crystals.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)