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Holey Silicon as an Efficient Thermoelectric Material

JIB-2854

ABSTRACT:

Peidong Yang and his colleagues at Berkeley Lab have created a new type of nanostructure with enhanced thermoelectric performance: thin single-crystalline silicon membranes that have been decorated with a high density of nanoscopic holes. These "holey silicon" (HS) nanostructures exhibit good mechanical strength and reproducibly low thermal conductivity while maintaining sufficient electrical quality, making them viable candidates for thermoelectric applications.

The Berkeley Lab structures were fabricated by either nanosphere or block-copolymer lithography, both of which are scalable for practical device application. By reducing the pitch of the hexagonal holey pattern down to 55 nm with 35% porosity, the thermal conductivity of HS is consistently reduced by 2 orders of magnitude and approaches the amorphous limit.  With a ZT value of ~0.4 at room temperature, the thermoelectric performance of this technology is comparable with the best value recorded in a silicon nanowire system.

STATUS: Patent pending. Available for licensing or collaborative research.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Tang, J., Wang, H.-T., Lee, D. H., Fardy, M., Huo, Z., Russell, T. P., Yang, P. "Holey Silicon as an Efficient Thermoelectric Material," American Chemical Society NanoLetters, 2010, 10, 4279-4283.

SEE THESE OTHER BERKELEY LAB TECHNOLOGIES IN THIS FIELD:

Water Based Process for Fabricating Thermoelectric Materials, IB-2859

Tunable Molecular Heterostrcutures for Optimal Energy Conversion and Storage, IB-2380

Complex Oxides for Highly Efficient Solid-State Energy Conversion, IB-2400

Modular Inorganic Nanocomposites, IB-2749

REFERENCE NUMBER: JIB-2854

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Last updated: 04/08/2011