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Nanograin Effects on the Thermoelectric Properties of Poly-Si Nanowires

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Abstract

In this work we perform a theoretical analysis of the thermoelectric performance of polycrystalline Si nanowires (NWs) by considering both electron and phonon transport. The simulations are calibrated with experimental data from monocrystalline and polycrystalline structures. We show that heavily doped polycrystalline NW structures with grain size below 100 nm might offer an alternative approach to achieve simultaneous thermal conductivity reduction and power factor improvements through improvements in the Seebeck coefficient. We find that deviations from the homogeneity of the channel and/or reduction in the diameter may provide strong reduction in the thermal conductivity. Interestingly, our calculations show that the Seebeck coefficient and consequently the power factor can be improved significantly once the polycrystalline geometry is properly optimized, while avoiding strong reduction in the electrical conductivity. In such a way, ZT values even higher than the ones reported for monocrystalline Si NWs can be achieved.

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Neophytou, N., Zianni, X., Ferri, M. et al. Nanograin Effects on the Thermoelectric Properties of Poly-Si Nanowires. J. Electron. Mater. 42, 2393–2401 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11664-012-2424-8

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11664-012-2424-8

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