Evaluating the ratio of electron and hole mobilities from a single bulk sample using Photo-Seebeck effect

Zhenyu Pan, Zheng Zhu, Fan Yang, Ayaskanta Sahu, Jeffrey J. Urban, Heng Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


When a semiconductor is under photoexcitation, the voltage response to a temperature gradient is the photo-Seebeck effect. Here we study this effect, focusing on the contribution from transport of photo-excited carriers. We demonstrate that by combining photo-Seebeck with photoconductivity measurements, one can determine the ratio between electron and hole mobilities, and hence both of them when one is known. This is found for the case of defect-free samples, where no detail on the absorbance, carrier lifetime or recombination is necessary. Our method reported here does not require chemical doping, which could introduce defects and is often not feasible. It applies to both thin film and bulk samples. Experiment-wise, photo-Seebeck effect is relatively easy to implement, or added to existing systems. In a broader context, for semiconductors with significant influence from defects, our result suggests that the photo-Seebeck behavior can still be understood. In this case another photo-transport property is necessary, in order to identify the mobilities of carriers and information regarding the defects. This framework integrates the information from photoexcitation and thermal gradients to provide a general method to determine fundamental electronic properties of materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100331
JournalMaterials Today Physics
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • Carrier mobility
  • Carrier transport
  • Photo-thermoelectric properties
  • Seebeck coefficient
  • Thermoelectric properties

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Evaluating the ratio of electron and hole mobilities from a single bulk sample using Photo-Seebeck effect'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this