Thermoelectric Micro Devices: Current State, Recent Developments and Future Aspects for Technological Progress and Applications
Due to their unique expected properties thermoelectric microdevices, thermogenerators as well as Peltrier coolers, are of high demand for different applications namely for telecommunication purposes. Thus worldwide efforts are undertaken to expand the technology for thermoelectric devices into the field of typical microsystem technologies including aspects of advanced low dimensional high ZT materials. Favourite material systems are up to now the bismuthtelluride (V-VI) compounds and the silicon/germanium (IV-IV) alloys. Recent results proof the capability to implement low dimensional material of both material systems into microsystem devices and show the possibility to adapt typical wafer based microelectronic technologies for the fabrication of thermoelectric devices even for the non CMOS bismuthtelluride related materials. Thus this survey will present the state of the art, a summary of recent results together with the intended applications, as well as expectable technological aspects for microsystem fabrication. An attempt will be presented to compare strength and weakness of the different technological concepts.