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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Tackling Challenges in Seebeck Coefficient Measurement of Ultra-High Resistance Samples with an AC Technique


Seebeck coefficient is a widely studied semiconductor property. Conventional Seebeck coefficient measurements are based on DC voltage measurement. Normally this is performed on samples with moderate resistances (e.g., below a few MΩ level). Certain semiconductors are intrinsic and highly resistive. Many examples can be found in optical and photovoltaic materials. The hybrid halide perovskites that have gained extensive attention recently are a good example. Despite great attention from the materials and physics communities, few successful studies exist of the Seebeck coefficient of these compounds, for example CH3NH3PbI3. An AC-technique-based Seebeck coefficient measurement is reported, which makes high-quality Seebeck voltage measurements on samples with resistances up to the 100 GΩ level. This is achieved through a specifically designed setup to enhance sample isolation and increase capacitive impedance. As a demonstration, Seebeck coefficient measurement of a CH3NH3PbI3 thin film is performed at dark, with sample resistance 150 GΩ, and found S = +550 µV K−1. The strategy reported could be applied to the studies of fundamental transport parameters of all intrinsic semiconductors that have not been feasible.

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