Planar Thermoelectric Microgenerators Based on Silicon Nanowires
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Silicon nanowires have been implemented in microfabricated structures to develop planar thermoelectric microgenerators (μTEGs) monolithically integrated in silicon to convert heat flow from thermal gradients naturally present in the environment into electrical energy. The compatibility of typical microfabrication technologies and the vapor–liquid–solid (VLS) mechanism employed for silicon nanowire growth has been evaluated. Low-thermal-mass suspended structures have been designed, simulated, and microfabricated on silicon-on-insulator substrates to passively generate thermal gradients and operate as microgenerators using silicon nanowires as thermoelectric material. Both electrical measurements to evaluate the connectivity of the nanowires and thermoreflectance imaging to determine the heat transfer along the device have been employed.
KeywordsMicrogenerator silicon nanowires thermoelectricity harvesting
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