InSb and GaInSb nanowires for thermoelectric applications

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One-dimensional III-V compound semiconductor nanowires are an important class of nanomaterials that possess unique structures, remarkable properties, and great potential in various applications. InSb represents the smallest band-gap III-V compound semiconductor (0.17 eV at room temperature), and has its own unique physical properties. It is important for use in galvanomagnetic, high-speed, magnetic field sensors, and long-wavelength optoelectronic device applications, such as an infrared detector in the spectral range of 3-5 micron. Recently, a theoretical modeling from our group indicates that InSb is also a good candidate material for thermoelectric applications. We report here the first large-scale synthesis of single crystalline InSb and GaInSb nanowires via a self-catalyzed vapor-solid-liquid (VLS) growth method. Through the investigation of various growth conditions, we have identified a very narrow growth window for producing high crystalline quality InSb and GaInSb nanowires in large scales. Materials composition and structural analysis of these nanowires reveal that they have high crystalline quality. We have also measured thermoelectric transport properties of these nanowires. A maximum power factor at 700K will be reported. We are currently investigating these single crystalline InSb and GaInSb nanowires for thermoelectric device integration in energy efficient solid-state refrigeration and power generation applications. Preliminary prototype thermoelectric nano coolers and nano power generators device design and fabrication process will be presented.

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Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 1, Technical Proceedings of the 2007 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show, Volume 1
Published: May 20, 2007
Pages: 237 - 240
Industry sector: Advanced Materials & Manufacturing
Topics: Advanced Materials for Engineering Applications, Nanoparticle Synthesis & Applications
ISBN: 1-4200-6182-8