The University of Southampton

Thin Film Thermo-Electric Generators

Individual nano-crystals of Sb2Te3
Nanoelectronics, Energy Harvesting & Sensing Devices
STFC (ST/P00007X/1), STFC (ST/L003376/1)

Thermoelectric micro-generators are solid state energy harvesters. They have no mechanical parts that can wear out, require little maintenance, have long lifetimes and produce no emissions. In order to produce a functional thermoelectric device, an n-type doped material is connected electrically in series and thermally in parallel across a temperature differential to a p-type doped material. Bismuth telluride based thermoelectric materials are very well suited for near room temperature applications, including wireless sensing. We have developed a new series of molecular precursor compounds which can be used in chemical vapour deposition to produce high quality thin films of (n-type) bismuth telluride and (p-type) antimony telluride. Both our electro-deposition apporach, and more surprsing, our chemical vapoour deposition approach allow the materials to be deposited very selectively onto specific areas of lithographically patterned substrates. The focus of these project is to work closely with key stakeholders, to exploit the unique features of our selectivity so that the production costs for manufacture of thermoelectric microgenerators can be reduced significantly while at the same time the efficiency can be enhanced.

Primary investigators

  • Kees De Groot
  • Gill Reid (Chemistry)
  • Andrew Hector (Chemistry)
  • Ruomeng Huang

Secondary investigator

  • Fully funded Ph.D. (Industrial Case 2017-2021) award available for UK/EU nationals

Associated research group

  • Nano Research Group
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