Enhancement of the thermoelectric power by electronic correlations in bad metals: a study of the Kelvin formula
In many strongly correlated electron metals the thermoelectric power has a non-monotonic temperature dependence and values that are orders of magnitude larger than for elemental metals. Kelvin proposed a particularly simple expression for the thermopower in terms of the temperature dependence of the chemical potential. We consider a Hubbard model on an anisotropic triangular lattice at half filling, a minimal effective Hamiltonian for several classes of organic charge transfer salts. The finite temperature Lanczos method is used to calculate the temperature dependence of the thermopower using the Kelvin formula. We find that electronic correlations significantly enhance the magnitude of the thermopower and lead to a non-monotonic temperature dependence. The latter reflects a crossover with increasing temperature from a Fermi liquid to a bad metal. Although, the Kelvin formula gives a semi-quantitative description of some experimental results it cannot describe the directional dependence of the sign of the thermopower in some materials.