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Controlling compositional homogeneity and crystalline orientation in Bi0.8
thermoelectric thin films
5.S. Cho, A. DiVenere, Y. Kim, G. K. Wong, J. B. Ketterson, J. R. Meyer, and C. A. Hoffman, in XVII International Conference on Thermoelectrics. Proceedings ICT 98 (IEEE, 1998), pp. 284–287.
18.S. J. Limmer, D. L. Medlin, M. P. Siegal, M. Hekmaty, J. L. Lensch-Falk, K. Erickson, J. Pillars, and W. G. Yelton, J. Mater. Res. 30, 164 (2015).
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Compositional-homogeneity and crystalline-orientation are necessary attributes to achieve high thermoelectric performance in Bi1−xSbxthin films. Following deposition in vacuum, and upon air exposure, we find that 50%–95% of the Sb in 100-nm thick films segregates to form a nanocrystalline Sb2O3surface layer, leaving the film bulk as Bi-metal. However, we demonstrate that a thin SiN capping layer deposited prior to air exposure prevents Sb-segregation, preserving a uniform film composition. Furthermore, the capping layer enables annealing in forming gas to improve crystalline orientations along the preferred trigonal axis, beneficially reducing electrical resistivity.
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