This work aims at improving the energy harvester performance by using low-dimensional thermoelectric materials. A micro-thermoelectric generator (μTEG) with quantum well-like thermocouples is developed by state-of-the-art CMOS (Complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) process. A relaxation-time model is applied to analyze the characteristic length of silicon germanium quantum well, and a thermal model is also applied to calculate the thermocouple size for optimal performance by matching the thermal/electrical resistance. Analysis based on TSMC 0.35 μm 3P3M (3-poly and 3-metal layers) BiCMOS process shows that the maximum power factor and voltage factor of a μTEG is 0.241 μW/cm2 K2 and 10.442 V/cm2 K. Design implementation validates that the μTEG with 60 μm × 4 μm quantum well-like thermocouples (0.05 μm Si0.9Ge0.1 quantum well on 0.300 μm P-thermoleg and 0.280 μm N-thermoleg) has the best performance compared with those reported in the literature.
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