Optimizing Thermoelectric Power Factor in p-Type Hydrogenated Nano-crystalline Silicon Thin Films by Varying Carrier Concentration

Edwin Acosta, V. Smirnov, Peter Szabo, Jim Buckman, Nick S. Bennett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Most approaches to silicon-based thermoelectrics are focused on reducing the lattice thermal conductivity with minimal deterioration of the thermoelectric power factor. This study investigates the potential of p-type hydrogenated nano-crystalline silicon thin films (μc-Si:H), produced by plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition, for thermoelectric applications. We adopt this heterogeneous material structure, known to have a very low thermal conductivity (~ 1 W/m K), in order to obtain an optimized power factor through controlled variation of carrier concentration drawing on stepwise annealing. This approach achieves a best thermoelectric power factor of ~ 3 × 10 −4  W/mK 2 at a carrier concentration of ~ 4.5 × 10 19  cm 3 derived from a significant increase of electrical conductivity ~ × 8, alongside a less pronounced reduction of the Seebeck coefficient, while retaining a low thermal conductivity. These thin films have a good thermal and mechanical stability up to 500°C with appropriate adhesion at the film/substrate interface.

LanguageEnglish
Pages2085-2094
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Electronic Materials
Volume48
Issue number4
Early online date13 Feb 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019

Fingerprint

Nanocrystalline silicon
Thermoelectric power
Carrier concentration
Thermal conductivity
thermal conductivity
Thin films
silicon
thin films
Seebeck coefficient
Mechanical stability
Silicon
Seebeck effect
Plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition
retaining
deterioration
Deterioration
adhesion
Thermodynamic stability
thermal stability
Adhesion

Keywords

  • Thermoelectric
  • annealing
  • carrier concentration
  • nano-crystalline silicon
  • power factor
  • thin films

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry

Cite this

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abstract = "Most approaches to silicon-based thermoelectrics are focused on reducing the lattice thermal conductivity with minimal deterioration of the thermoelectric power factor. This study investigates the potential of p-type hydrogenated nano-crystalline silicon thin films (μc-Si:H), produced by plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition, for thermoelectric applications. We adopt this heterogeneous material structure, known to have a very low thermal conductivity (~ 1 W/m K), in order to obtain an optimized power factor through controlled variation of carrier concentration drawing on stepwise annealing. This approach achieves a best thermoelectric power factor of ~ 3 × 10 −4  W/mK 2 at a carrier concentration of ~ 4.5 × 10 19  cm 3 derived from a significant increase of electrical conductivity ~ × 8, alongside a less pronounced reduction of the Seebeck coefficient, while retaining a low thermal conductivity. These thin films have a good thermal and mechanical stability up to 500°C with appropriate adhesion at the film/substrate interface.",
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Optimizing Thermoelectric Power Factor in p-Type Hydrogenated Nano-crystalline Silicon Thin Films by Varying Carrier Concentration. / Acosta, Edwin; Smirnov, V.; Szabo, Peter; Buckman, Jim; Bennett, Nick S.

In: Journal of Electronic Materials, Vol. 48, No. 4, 04.2019, p. 2085-2094.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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