© 2018 This paper describes a specific route for the complete integration of a novel planar thermoelectric microgenerator (μTEG) that can operate under environmental conditions using commercial miniaturized heat exchangers. The proposed heat exchanger integration process is compatible with the fragility of planar micromachined silicon structures. The main structure of the μTEG is built around a micromachined silicon platform defined by silicon microfabrication technologies. Different silicon-based materials, such as bottom-up grown silicon and silicon-germanium nanowire arrays as well as top-down fabricated silicon microbeams are used as thermoelectric materials. μTEGs with those materials are characterized both before and after heat exchanger integration. The presence of the heat exchanger increases the μTEG performance significantly and power densities around 40 μW cm−2 are obtained when placed on a heat source at 100 °C and exposed under natural convection to a surrounding ambient at room temperature.
- Heat exchanger
- Si micro/nanostructures
- Thermoelectric micro/nano generator