Applied Physics A

, Volume 120, Issue 4, pp 1497–1502 | Cite as

Hydrogenated nanocrystalline silicon thin films with promising thermoelectric properties

  • Joana Loureiro
  • Tiago Mateus
  • Sergej Filonovich
  • Marisa Ferreira
  • Joana Figueira
  • Alexandra Rodrigues
  • Brian F. Donovan
  • Patrick E. Hopkins
  • Isabel Ferreira


The search for materials with suitable thermoelectric properties that are environmentally friendly and abundant led us to investigate p- and n-type hydrogenated nanocrystalline silicon (nc-Si:H) thin films, produced by plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition. The Seebeck coefficient and power factor were measured at room temperature showing optimized values of 512 µV K−1 and 3.6 × 10−5 W m−1 K−2, for p-type, and −188 µV K−1 and 2.2 × 10−4 W m−1 K−2, for n-type thin films. The thermoelectric output power of one nc-Si:H pair of both n- and p-type materials is ~91 µW per material cm3, for a thermal gradient of 8 K. The output voltage and current values show a linear dependence with the number of pairs interconnected in series and/or parallel and show good integration performance.


Thermoelectric Property Bi2Te3 Spectroscopic Ellipsometry Bulk Layer Nanocrystalline Silicon 
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This work was partially supported by the Portuguese Agency of Innovation (Adi) under project QREN/3435-Nanoxides, by the Portuguese Science and Technology Foundation (FCT), Ministry for Education and Science (MEC), under PEst-C/CTM/LA0025/2011 (Strategic Project—LA 25—2011–2012) and mainly by the NANOTEG project: ENIAC/002/2010. This work was partially supported by the Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund of Virginia (MF14S-012-En) and Financial Assistance Award No. 01-79-142414, awarded by the US Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration, to the University of Virginia. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the US Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration. The material is based upon work partially supported by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research under AFOSR Award No. 5010-UV-AFOSR-0067. The authors would like to thank Márcia Vilarigues from the Conservation Department of FCT/UNL for the micro-Raman measurements and insight.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joana Loureiro
    • 1
  • Tiago Mateus
    • 1
  • Sergej Filonovich
    • 1
  • Marisa Ferreira
    • 1
  • Joana Figueira
    • 1
  • Alexandra Rodrigues
    • 1
  • Brian F. Donovan
    • 2
  • Patrick E. Hopkins
    • 2
  • Isabel Ferreira
    • 1
  1. 1.CENIMAT/I3N, Departamento de Ciências dos Materiais, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, FCTUniversidade Nova de LisboaCaparicaPortugal
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical and Aerospace EngineeringUniversity of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA

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