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

7 Citations (Scopus)
77 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 (μc-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 550°C. 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 × 10−4 W/mK2 at room temperature is reported for n-type films of 1 μm thickness, which is in line with the best values reported in recent literature for similar structures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3077–3084
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Electronic Materials
Early online date30 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


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