skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Modeling and theoretical efficiency of a silicon nanowire based thermoelectric junction with area enhancement

Abstract

Recent experimental work suggests that individual silicon nanowires with rough surfaces possess a thermoelectric figure of merit as high as 0.6 near room temperature. This paper addresses the possibility of using an array of such nanowires in a thermoelectric junction for generation. Employing a model of frequency dependent phonon boundary scattering, we estimate the effective thermal conductivity of the array and investigate heat flow through the junction. We show that charge transport is largely unaffected by the roughness scales considered. Enhancing the area for heat exchange at an individual 200 mu m x 200 mu m p-n junction yields significant temperature differences across the junction leading to power >0.6 mW and efficiency >1.5% for a junction with effective thermal conductivity <5 W/mK, when the source and sink are at 450 K and 300 K, respectively. We show that relatively short nanowires of similar to 50 mu m length are sufficient for obtaining peak power and reasonable efficiency. This substantially reduces the challenge of engineering low resistivity electrical contacts that critically affect power and efficiency. This paper provides insight into how fundamental transport in relation to bulk heat transfer and charge transport, affects the performance of thermoelectric junctions based on nanostructuredmore » materials. (C) 2012 American Institute of Physics. [http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4728189]« less

Authors:
; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E)
OSTI Identifier:
1211309
DOE Contract Number:  
DE-AR0000041PF-ARRA
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Journal of Applied Physics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 111; Journal Issue: 12; Journal ID: ISSN 0021-8979
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English

Citation Formats

Seong, M, Sadhu, JS, Ma, J, Ghossoub, MG, and Sinha, S. Modeling and theoretical efficiency of a silicon nanowire based thermoelectric junction with area enhancement. United States: N. p., 2012. Web. doi:10.1063/1.4728189.
Seong, M, Sadhu, JS, Ma, J, Ghossoub, MG, & Sinha, S. Modeling and theoretical efficiency of a silicon nanowire based thermoelectric junction with area enhancement. United States. doi:10.1063/1.4728189.
Seong, M, Sadhu, JS, Ma, J, Ghossoub, MG, and Sinha, S. Fri . "Modeling and theoretical efficiency of a silicon nanowire based thermoelectric junction with area enhancement". United States. doi:10.1063/1.4728189.
@article{osti_1211309,
title = {Modeling and theoretical efficiency of a silicon nanowire based thermoelectric junction with area enhancement},
author = {Seong, M and Sadhu, JS and Ma, J and Ghossoub, MG and Sinha, S},
abstractNote = {Recent experimental work suggests that individual silicon nanowires with rough surfaces possess a thermoelectric figure of merit as high as 0.6 near room temperature. This paper addresses the possibility of using an array of such nanowires in a thermoelectric junction for generation. Employing a model of frequency dependent phonon boundary scattering, we estimate the effective thermal conductivity of the array and investigate heat flow through the junction. We show that charge transport is largely unaffected by the roughness scales considered. Enhancing the area for heat exchange at an individual 200 mu m x 200 mu m p-n junction yields significant temperature differences across the junction leading to power >0.6 mW and efficiency >1.5% for a junction with effective thermal conductivity <5 W/mK, when the source and sink are at 450 K and 300 K, respectively. We show that relatively short nanowires of similar to 50 mu m length are sufficient for obtaining peak power and reasonable efficiency. This substantially reduces the challenge of engineering low resistivity electrical contacts that critically affect power and efficiency. This paper provides insight into how fundamental transport in relation to bulk heat transfer and charge transport, affects the performance of thermoelectric junctions based on nanostructured materials. (C) 2012 American Institute of Physics. [http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4728189]},
doi = {10.1063/1.4728189},
journal = {Journal of Applied Physics},
issn = {0021-8979},
number = 12,
volume = 111,
place = {United States},
year = {2012},
month = {6}
}