Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Davis

UC Davis Previously Published Works bannerUC Davis

Optimal thickness of silicon membranes to achieve maximum thermoelectric efficiency: A first principles study

Published Web Location

Silicon nanostructures with reduced dimensionality, such as nanowires, membranes, and thin films, are promising thermoelectric materials, as they exhibit considerably reduced thermal conductivity. Here, we utilize density functional theory and Boltzmann transport equation to compute the electronic properties of ultra-thin crystalline silicon membranes with thickness between 1 and 12 nm. We predict that an optimal thickness of ∼7 nm maximizes the thermoelectric figure of merit of membranes with native oxide surface layers. Further thinning of the membranes, although attainable in experiments, reduces the electrical conductivity and worsens the thermoelectric efficiency.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View