Reducing the thermal conductivity of silicon by nanostructure patterning

YW Wen and HJ Liu and L Pan and XJ Tan and HY Lv and J Shi and XF Tang, APPLIED PHYSICS A-MATERIALS SCIENCE & PROCESSING, 110, 93-98 (2013).

DOI: 10.1007/s00339-012-7417-1

Based on molecular dynamics simulations, we propose using nanostructure- patterned silicon for thermoelectric applications. Three typical examples are (i) fractal-like nanoporous Si, (ii) etched Si nanofilm, and (iii) quasi-periodic layered SiGe. All of them can exhibit very low thermal conductivity (less than 1.0 W m(-1) K-1) and may be mass produced with standard fabrication techniques such as molecular beam epitaxy or Czochralski process. By maintaining good electronic transport of bulk Si, it is possible to achieve ZT similar to 5.0 at room temperature.

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