Thermoelectric Characterization and Power Generation Using a Silicon-on-Insulator Substrate

Event Date: February 1, 2012
Authors: J. Lee, S. Kim, A. Marconnet, M.A.A. in 't Zandt, M. Asheghi, H.S.P.Wong, and K.E. Goodson
Journal: Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems
Paper URL:
Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems, Vol. 21, No. 1, pp. 4-6, 2012. DOI:10.1109/JMEMS.2011.2175704

We demonstrate techniques for measuring thermoelectric voltages and generating on-chip power using a silicon-on-insulator substrate. Our design uses lateral heat conduction in the silicon overlayer to establish temperature gradients, which dramatically reduces microfabrication complexity compared to competing designs based on a free-standing membrane. This letter characterizes the thermoelectric power of a metal-semiconductor structure involving a doped SbTe alloy that is relevant for phase-change memory. The thermoelectric power of the SbTe-TiW thermocouple is 24 μV/K, and the power generation output achieves up to 0.56 μW/cm2 with a temperature gradient of 18°K.