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Strain-induced enhancement of the thermoelectric power in thin films of hole-doped La2
13. A. Demourges, P. Dordor, J.-P. Doumerc, J.-C. Grenier, E. Marquestaut, M. Pouchard, A. Villesuzanne, and A. Wattiaux, J. Solid State Chem. 124, 199 (1996).
14. N. F. Mott, Conduction in Non-Crystalline Materials (Clarendon Press, 1993).
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We propose a novel route for optimizing the thermoelectric power of a polaronic conductor, independent of its electronic conductivity. This mechanism is exemplified here in thin-films of La2NiO4+δ. Tensile stress induced by epitaxial growth on SrTiO3 doubles the thermoelectric power of ≈15 nm thick films relative to ≈90 nm films, while the electronic conductivity remains practically unchanged. Epitaxial strain influences the statistical contribution to the high temperature thermopower, but introduces a smaller correction to the electronic conductivity. This mechanism provides a new way for optimizing the high temperature thermoelectric performance of polaronic conductors.
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