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Miniaturized solid-state devices such as MEMS, microelectrical system and even "system on a chip" are of interest for variety of space and terrestrial applications. For those micro-systems, micro-power sources with low power, high voltage output are necessary. To meet the promising requirement, we combined the high thermoelectric performance of nanowires with the advantage of IC fabrication process and designed a new type of microthermoelectric power generator which is comprised of n-type and p-type Bi2Te3 nanowire array thermoelectric materials. The nanowires are embedded in the alumina nanoporous film and the unique laminar structure of the micropower generator makes thermo-electricity conversion more effective. A high,voltage output can be obtained by connecting the nanowire array micro-zones in parallel and then in series electrically. The designed micropower generator possesses a film like configuration and its thickness is less than 100 μm.
Date of Conference: 17-21 Aug. 2003