日本金属学会誌

J. Japan Inst. Met. Mater, Vol. 79, No. 11 (2015),
pp. 569-572

Enhancement of Thermoelectric Properties of Silicon by Nanoscale Structure Control

Ken Kurosaki1, Aikebaier Yusufu1, Yoshinobu Miyazaki1, Yuji Ohishi1, Hiroaki Muta1 and Shinsuke Yamanaka1,2

1Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University, Suita 565-0871
2Research Institute of Nuclear Engineering, University of Fukui, Tsuruga 914-0055

Abstract:

The effectiveness of thermoelectric (TE) materials which can convert heat gradients into electricity and vice versa is quantified by the dimensionless figure of merit (ZT). Current TE materials such as Bi2Te3 and PbTe whose ZT values are around unity contain highly toxic and/or rare elements, limiting their widespread application. Silicon (Si) is a non-toxic, inexpensive, and earth-abundant element. Although bulk Si exhibits good electrical properties, its lattice thermal conductivity (κlat) is high (>100 W m-1 K-1), leading to the ZT value of around 0.01 at room temperature. If its κlat could be lowered while maintaining good electrical properties, Si could be an ideal TE material. These changes can be realized in Si by nanostructuring. Here we review recent results on the enhancement of TE efficiency of Si by nanoscale structure control. Based on the achievements of nanostructured Si in TEs, we point out some ideas for further enhancement of TE efficiency of Si.

[doi:10.2320/jinstmet.JA201501]


(Received 2015/4/8)

Keywords:

thermoelectric, nanostructuring, thermal conductivity, electrical conductivity


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