Advanced Functional Materials

Single-Material Graphene Thermocouples

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On-chip temperature sensing on a micro- to nanometer scale is becoming more desirable as the complexity of nanodevices keeps increasing and their downscaling continues. The continuation of this trend makes thermal probing and management more and more challenging. This highlights the need for scalable and reliable temperature sensors, which have the potential to be incorporated into current and future device structures. Here, it is shown that U-shaped graphene stripes consisting of one wide and one narrow leg form a single material thermocouple that can function as a self-powering temperature sensor. It is found that the graphene thermocouples increase in sensitivity with a decrease in leg width, due to a change in the Seebeck coefficient, which is in agreement with previous findings and report a maximum sensitivity of ΔS ≈ 39 μV K−1.