University of Arizona researchers predict an enormous order-dependent quantum enhancement of thermoelectric effects in the vicinity of a higher-order ‘supernode’ in the transmission spectrum of a nanoscale junction. Single molecule junctions based on 3,3’-biphenyl and polyphenyl ether (PPE) are investigated in detail.
The predicted peak ZT could be 50 if the many body theoretical work is accurate for 30 phenyl groups. If there were 100 phenyl groups then the ZT would be 100.
Getting better than ZT of 20 is better than almost any existing engine or generator that we have now.
Getting to ZT of 50 or 100 and the actual energy efficiency of the conversion of heat to electricity would be very close to Carnot efficiency. There would be very little practical difference in the percentage of conversion that was not being captured.