Performance measuring technology for thermoelectric nanowire array

Wei Wang 1, Zhirong Zhang 1, Chuanqi Tao 1, Jianzhong Zhang 2

1Dept. of Applied Chem., School of Chem. Eng. and Tech., Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, P. R. China

2Tianjin Institute of Power Sources, Tianjin 300381, P. R. China

Miniaturized thermoelectric power generators with low power, high voltage offer attractive solutions to the accelerating trend towards miniaturization of electronic components and system on a chip concepts where many functions such as sense, compute, control, communicate and power are located together. Low dimensional thermoelectric materials possess higher ZT value that has been verified theoretically and experimentally in recent year. For this reason, they have been considered to be one of the best choices for the manufacture of micro-thermoelectric power generators. For nanowire array thermoelectric materials fabricated with porous alumina film as template, their thickness are often in the range of ten to several tens micrometers, and the conventional methods cannot be used to measure their thermoelectric performance. A new thermoelectric performance measuring system used for one-dimensional nanowire array thermoelectric films has been developed in our Lab. The chief improvement in the new system compared with the conventional methods are the use of inert gas as the heating source, and the gas can ensure the two sides of the nanowire array thermoelectric films to be heated uniformly. Its structural design and performance measuring results of the new system are presented in the paper.