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J Nanosci Nanotechnol. 2012 Apr;12(4):3629-32.

Growth and thermoelectric properties of multilayer thin film of bismuth telluride and indium selenide via rf magnetron sputtering.

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Department of Material Science and Engineering, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-744, Korea.


A bismuth telluride (BT)/indium selenide (IS) multilayer film was deposited at room temperature by rf magnetron sputtering on a sapphire substrate in order to investigate how the multilayered structure affects the microstructure and thermoelectric properties. The effect of annealing at different temperatures was also studied. The results were compared with those from a BT film with the same thickness. A TEM study showed that the interface between the BT and IS layers became vague as the annealing temperature increased, and the BT layer crystallized while the IS layer did not. The presence of thin IS layers can help to limit the evaporation of Te from the BT/IS multilayer film, thus increasing the amount of Bi2Te3 phase in the multilayer film as compared with that of the BT film. An abrupt increase in the Seebeck coefficient of the multilayer film was observed when annealed at 300 degrees C, and the resistivity of the annealed multilayer film was high compared to that of the BT film. This result can also be explained by the proposed role of the IS layer, which limits the evaporation of Te at high temperature. The highest power factor of -3.9 x 10(-6) W/K2 cm was obtained at room temperature from the multilayer film annealed at 300 degrees C.

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