Hydrogenated Nano-/Micro-Crystalline Silicon Thin-Films for Thermoelectrics

Edwin Acosta, Neil Wight, V. Smirnov, Jim Buckman, Nick Bennett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
33 Downloads (Pure)


Thermoelectric technology has not yet been able to reach full-scale market
penetration partly because most commercial materials employed are scarce/-
costly, environmentally unfriendly and in addition provide low conversion
efficiency. The necessity to tackle some of these hurdles leads us to investigate
the suitability of n-type hydrogenated microcrystalline silicon (lc-Si: H) in the
fabrication of thermoelectric devices, produced by plasma enhanced chemical
vapour deposition (PECVD), which is a mature process of proven scalability.
This study reports an approach to optimise the thermoelectric power factor
(PF) by varying the dopant concentration by means of post-annealing without
impacting film morphology, at least for temperatures below 550C. Results
show an improvement in PF of more than 80%, which is driven by a noticeable
increase of carrier mobility and Seebeck coefficient in spite of a reduction in
carrier concentration. A PF of 2.08 9 104 W/mK2 at room temperature is
reported for n-type films of 1 lm thickness, which is in line with the best
values reported in recent literature for similar structures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
JournalJournal of Electronic Materials
Early online date30 Nov 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Nov 2017


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