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Influence of Grain Size on the Thermoelectric Properties of Polycrystalline Silicon Nanowires


The thermoelectric properties of doped polycrystalline silicon nanowires have been investigated using doping techniques that impact grain growth in different ways during the doping process. In particular, As- and P-doped nanowires were fabricated using a process flow which enables the manufacturing of surface micromachined nanowires contacted by Al/Si pads in a four-terminal configuration for thermal conductivity measurement. Also, dedicated structures for the measurement of the Seebeck coefficient and electrical resistivity were prepared. In this way, the thermoelectric figure of merit of the nanowires could be evaluated. The As-doped nanowires were heavily doped by thermal doping from spin-on-dopant sources, whereas predeposition from POCl3 was utilized for the P-doped nanowires. The thermal conductivity measured on the nanowires appeared to depend on the doping type. The P-doped nanowires showed, for comparable cross-sections, higher thermal conductivity values than As-doped nanowires, most probably because of their finer grain texture, resulting from the inhibition effect that such doping elements have on grain growth during high-temperature annealing.

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Correspondence to D. Narducci.

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Suriano, F., Ferri, M., Moscatelli, F. et al. Influence of Grain Size on the Thermoelectric Properties of Polycrystalline Silicon Nanowires. J. Electron. Mater. 44, 371–376 (2015).

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  • Nanowire
  • polycrystalline silicon
  • grain boundaries
  • thermal conductivity