Thermoelectric Voltage at Point Contacts by Electron Tunneling Effect

Kunio Hijikata, Kohei Ito, Osamu Nakabeppu, Patric E. Phelan, Kunikazu Torikoshi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


When a temperature drop exists across a point contact which is formed by pressing a metal whisker against a metal plate, the thermoelectric voltage can be measured, even though the entire electric circuit is made from the same metal. This phenomenon is a result of the characteristic thermoelectric power (TEP), which depends on the electron tunneling effect through a severalangstroms-thick oxide layer at the point contact. In this study, the experimental values and theoretical values of the TEP are compared. There is a possibility of producing a new type of thermal probe using this point contact apparatus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2171-2175
Number of pages5
JournalTransactions of the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers Series B
Issue number574
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Point Contact
  • Thermoelectric Power
  • Thermoelectric Voltage
  • Thermophysical Property
  • Tunneling Effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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