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Nanowire Arrays for Thermoelectric Devices

[+] Author Affiliations
Woo C. Kim, Arun Majumdar, Yiying Wu, Lynn Trahey, Peidong Yang, Angelica Stacy, Ronald Gronsky

University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA

Alexis R. Abramson

Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH

Scott T. Huxtable

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL

Timothy D. Sanda

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

Paper No. HT2003-47320, pp. 101-104; 4 pages
  • ASME 2003 Heat Transfer Summer Conference
  • Heat Transfer: Volume 1
  • Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, July 21–23, 2003
  • Conference Sponsors: Heat Transfer Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3693-2 | eISBN: 0-7918-3679-7
  • Copyright © 2003 by ASME


This study reports on the fabrication and characterization of two prototype thermoelectric devices constructed of either silicon (Si) or bismuth telluride (Bi2 Te3 ) nanowire arrays. The growth mechanisms and fabrication procedures of the Si and Bi2 Te3 devices are different as described in this paper. To characterize the thermoelectric device components, current-voltage (I-V) characteristics were first used to estimate their performance. For the Si device, the I-V characteristics suggest ohmic contacts at the metal-semiconductor junction. For the Bi2 Te3 device, the I-V characteristics curve showed a rectifying contact. Either low doping of the Bi2Te3 or surface contamination, i.e. native oxide, may cause the rectifying contact. The reversible Peltier effects occurring within the Si device were analyzed using a micro-thermocouple. Results indicated possible limitations of using Si nanowire arrays for the thermoelectric device.

Copyright © 2003 by ASME



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