Journal of Electronic Materials

Measurement of thermoelectric properties of single semiconductor nanowires

View publication


We have measured the thermopower and the thermal conductivity of individual silicon and indium arsenide nanowires (NWs). In this study, we evaluate a self-heating method to determine the thermal conductivity λ. Experimental validation of this method was performed on highly n-doped Si NWs with diameters ranging from 20 nm to 80 nm. The Si NWs exhibited electrical resistivity of = (8 ± 4) mΩcm at room temperature and Seebeck coefficient of -(250 ± 100) μV/K. The thermal conductivity of Si NWs measured using the proposed method is very similar to previously reported values; e.g., for Si NWs with 50 nm diameter, λ = 23 W/(m K) was obtained. Using the same method, we investigated InAs NWs with diameter of 100 nm and resistivities of ρ = (25±5) mΩcm at room temperature. Thermal conductivity of λ = 1.8 W/(m K) was obtained, which is about 20 to 30 times smaller than in bulk InAs. We analyzed the accuracy of the self-heating method by means of analytical and numerical solution of the one-dimensional (1-D) heat diffusion equation taking various loss channels into account. For our NWs suspended from the substrate with low-impedance contacts the relative error can be estimated to be ≤25%. © 2013 TMS.