Full thermoelectric characterization of InAs nanowires using MEMS heater/sensors

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Precise measurements of a complete set of thermoelectric parameters on a single indium-arsenide nanowire (NW) have been performed using highly sensitive, micro-fabricated sensing devices based on the heater/sensor principle. The devices were fabricated as micro electro-mechanical systems consisting of silicon nitride membranes structured with resistive gold heaters/sensors. Preparation, operation and characterization of the devices are described in detail. Thermal decoupling of the heater/sensor platforms has been optimized reaching thermal conductances as low as with a measurements sensitivity below . The InAs NWs were characterized in terms of thermal conductance, four-probe electrical conductance and thermopower (Seebeck coefficient), all measured on a single NW. The temperature dependence of the parameters determining the thermoelectric figure-of-merit of an InAs NW was acquired in the range 200-350 K featuring a minor decrease of the thermal conductivity from 2.7 W to 2.3 W . © 2014 IOP Publishing Ltd.