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Title: Enhanced thermoelectric efficiency in topological insulator Bi 2Te 3 nanoplates via atomic layer deposition-based surface passivation

Abstract

We report in-plane thermoelectric measurements of Bi 2Te 3 nanoplates, a typical topological insulator with Dirac-like metallic surface states, grown by chemical vapor deposition. The as-grown flakes exposed to ambient conditions exhibit relatively small thermopowers around -34 μV/K due to unintentional surface doping (e.g., gas adsorption and surface oxidation). After removal of the unintentional surface doping and surface passivation by deposition of 30 nm of Al 2O 3 using atomic layer deposition (ALD), the Seebeck coefficient of these flakes increases by a factor of 5× to -169 μV/K. We believe that the ALD-based surface passivation can prevent the degradation of the thermoelectric properties caused by gas adsorption and surface oxidation processes, thus, reducing the unintentional doping in the Bi 2Te 3 and increasing the Seebeck coefficient. The high surface-to-volume ratio of these thin (~10 nm thick) nanoplates make them especially sensitive to surface doping, which is a common problem among nanomaterials in general. An increase in the sample resistance is also observed after the ALD process, which is consistent with the decrease in doping.

Authors:
 [1]; ORCiD logo [2];  [1];  [1]; ORCiD logo [3];  [4]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [5]
  1. Univ. of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA (United States). Ming Hsieh Dept. of Electrical Engineering
  2. Univ. of Texas, Austin, TX (United States). Dept. of Mechanical Engineering. Texas Materials Inst.
  3. Univ. of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA (United States). Mork Family Dept. of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science
  4. Univ. of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA (United States). Dept. of Chemistry
  5. Univ. of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA (United States). Ming Hsieh Dept. of Electrical Engineering. Dept. of Chemistry. Dept. of Physics and Astronomy
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA (United States); Univ. of Texas, Austin, TX (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22); National Science Foundation (NSF)
OSTI Identifier:
1510945
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1465902
Grant/Contract Number:  
FG02-07ER46376; FG02-07ER46377; 1402906
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Applied Physics Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 113; Journal Issue: 8; Journal ID: ISSN 0003-6951
Publisher:
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; nanomaterials; topological insulator; adsorption; materials treatment; doping; thermoelectric effects; chemical vapor deposition; atomic layer deposition; passivation

Citation Formats

Chen, Jihan, Kim, Jaehyun, Poudel, Nirakar, Hou, Bingya, Shen, Lang, Shi, Haotian, Shi, Li, and Cronin, Stephen. Enhanced thermoelectric efficiency in topological insulator Bi2Te3 nanoplates via atomic layer deposition-based surface passivation. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1063/1.5030674.
Chen, Jihan, Kim, Jaehyun, Poudel, Nirakar, Hou, Bingya, Shen, Lang, Shi, Haotian, Shi, Li, & Cronin, Stephen. Enhanced thermoelectric efficiency in topological insulator Bi2Te3 nanoplates via atomic layer deposition-based surface passivation. United States. doi:10.1063/1.5030674.
Chen, Jihan, Kim, Jaehyun, Poudel, Nirakar, Hou, Bingya, Shen, Lang, Shi, Haotian, Shi, Li, and Cronin, Stephen. Wed . "Enhanced thermoelectric efficiency in topological insulator Bi2Te3 nanoplates via atomic layer deposition-based surface passivation". United States. doi:10.1063/1.5030674. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1510945.
@article{osti_1510945,
title = {Enhanced thermoelectric efficiency in topological insulator Bi2Te3 nanoplates via atomic layer deposition-based surface passivation},
author = {Chen, Jihan and Kim, Jaehyun and Poudel, Nirakar and Hou, Bingya and Shen, Lang and Shi, Haotian and Shi, Li and Cronin, Stephen},
abstractNote = {We report in-plane thermoelectric measurements of Bi2Te3 nanoplates, a typical topological insulator with Dirac-like metallic surface states, grown by chemical vapor deposition. The as-grown flakes exposed to ambient conditions exhibit relatively small thermopowers around -34 μV/K due to unintentional surface doping (e.g., gas adsorption and surface oxidation). After removal of the unintentional surface doping and surface passivation by deposition of 30 nm of Al2O3 using atomic layer deposition (ALD), the Seebeck coefficient of these flakes increases by a factor of 5× to -169 μV/K. We believe that the ALD-based surface passivation can prevent the degradation of the thermoelectric properties caused by gas adsorption and surface oxidation processes, thus, reducing the unintentional doping in the Bi2Te3 and increasing the Seebeck coefficient. The high surface-to-volume ratio of these thin (~10 nm thick) nanoplates make them especially sensitive to surface doping, which is a common problem among nanomaterials in general. An increase in the sample resistance is also observed after the ALD process, which is consistent with the decrease in doping.},
doi = {10.1063/1.5030674},
journal = {Applied Physics Letters},
number = 8,
volume = 113,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {8}
}

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