Quantum confinement effects on the thermoelectric figure of merit in Si/Si1-xGex system

X. Sun, M. S. Dresselhaus, K. L. Wang, M. O. Tanner

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1 Citation (Scopus)


The Si/Si1-xGex quantum well system is attractive for high temperature thermoelectric applications and for demonstration of proof-of-principle for enhanced thermoelectric figure of merit Z, since the interfaces and carrier densities can be well controlled in this system. We report here theoretical calculations for Z in this system, and results from theoretical modeling of quantum confinement effects in the presence of δ-doping within the barrier layers. The δ-doping layers are introduced by growing very thin layers of wide band gap materials within the barrier layers in order to increase the effective barrier height within the barriers and thereby reduce the harrier width necessary for the quantum confinement of carriers within the quantum well. The overall figure of merit is thereby enhanced due to the reduced barrier width and hence reduced thermal conductivity, κ. The δ-doping should further reduce κ in the barriers by introducing phonon scattering centers within the barrier region. The temperature dependence of Z for Si quantum wells is also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-174
Number of pages6
JournalMaterials Research Society Symposium - Proceedings
Publication statusPublished - 1997
EventProceedings of the 1997 MRS Spring Symposium - San Francisco, CA, USA
Duration: 1997 Mar 311997 Apr 3

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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