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Thermoelectric Properties of Nanograined Si-Ge-Au Thin Films Grown by Molecular Beam Deposition

  • Topical Collection: International Conference on Thermoelectrics 2017
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Conditions to achieve extremely large Seebeck coefficient and extremely small thermal conductivity in Si-Ge-Au thin films formed of nanosized grains precipitated in amorphous matrix have been investigated. We employed molecular beam deposition to prepare Si1−x Ge x Au y thin films on sapphire substrate. The deposited films were annealed under nitrogen gas atmosphere at 300°C to 500°C for 15 min to 30 min. Nanocrystals dispersed in amorphous matrix were clearly observed by transmission electron microscopy. We did not observe anomalously large Seebeck coefficient, but very low thermal conductivity of nearly 1.0 W K−1 m−1 was found at around 0.2 < x < 0.6. The compositional dependence of the thermal conductivity was well accounted for by the compositional dependence of the mixing entropy. Some of these values agree exactly with the amorphous limit predicted by theoretical calculations. The smallest lattice thermal conductivity found for the present samples is lower than that of nanostructured Si-Ge bulk material for which dimensionless figure of merit of ZT ≈ 1 was reported at high temperature.

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This study was supported and based on results obtained from a project commissioned by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).

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Correspondence to Shunsuke Nishino.

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Nishino, S., Ekino, S., Inukai, M. et al. Thermoelectric Properties of Nanograined Si-Ge-Au Thin Films Grown by Molecular Beam Deposition. J. Electron. Mater. 47, 3267–3272 (2018).

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