In this study, we investigated the effect of the structure of microporous p-type (Bi0.4Te3Sb1.6) and n-type (Bi 2.0Te2.7Se0.3) BiTe-based thin films on their thermoelectric performance. High-aspect-ratio porous thin films with pore depth greater than 1 μm and pore diameter ranging from 300 nm to 500 nm were prepared by oxygen plasma etching of polyimide (PI) layers capped with a heat-resistant block copolymer, which acted as the template. The cross-plane thermal conductivities of the porous p- and n-type thin films were 0.4 W m -1 K-1 and 0.42 W m-1 K-1, respectively, and the dimensionless figures of merit, ZT, of the p- and n-type BiTe films were estimated as 1.0 and 1.0, respectively, at room temperature. A prototype thermoelectric module consisting of 20 pairs of p- and n-type strips over an area of 3 cm × 5 cm was fabricated on the porous PI substrate. This module produced an output power of 0.1 mW and an output voltage of 0.6 V for a temperature difference of 130°C. The output power of the submicrostructured module was 1.5 times greater than that of a module based on smooth BiTe-based thin films. Thus, the thermoelectric performance of the thin films was improved owing to their submicroscale structure.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering
- Materials Chemistry