Authors: Perez-Taborda, JA; Rojo, MM; Maiz, J; Neophytou, N; Martin-Gonzalez, M

Sci Rep. vol: 6. page: 2045-2322.
Date: sep-21. 2016.
Doi: 10.1038/srep32778.

In this work, we measure the thermal and thermoelectric properties of large-area Si0.8Ge0.2 nanomeshed films fabricated by DC sputtering of Si0.8Ge0.2 on highly ordered porous alumina matrices. The Si0.8Ge0.2 film replicated the porous alumina structure resulting in nano-meshed films. Very good control of the nanomesh geometrical features (pore diameter, pitch, neck) was achieved through the alumina template, with pore diameters ranging from 294 +/- 5nm down to 31 +/- 4 nm. The method we developed is able to provide large areas of nano-meshes in a simple and reproducible way, being easily scalable for industrial applications. Most importantly, the thermal conductivity of the films was reduced as the diameter of the porous became smaller to values that varied from kappa = 1.54 +/- 0.27 W K(-1)m(-1), down to the ultra-low kappa = 0.55 +/- 0.10 W K(-1)m(-1) value. The latter is well below the amorphous limit, while the Seebeck coefficient and electrical conductivity of the material were retained. These properties, together with our large area fabrication approach, can provide an important route towards achieving high conversion efficiency, large area, and high scalable thermoelectric materials..