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Sensors 2013, 13(2), 2359-2367; doi:10.3390/s130202359

Energy Harvesting Thermoelectric Generators Manufactured Using the Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor Process

1
Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung 402, Taiwan
2
Department of Mechanical and Electro-Mechanical Engineering, Tamkang University, Tamsui 251, Taiwan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 December 2012 / Revised: 6 February 2013 / Accepted: 7 February 2013 / Published: 8 February 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modeling, Testing and Reliability Issues in MEMS Engineering 2013)
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Abstract

This paper presents the fabrication and characterization of energy harvesting thermoelectric micro generators using the commercial complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) process. The micro generator consists of 33 thermocouples in series. Thermocouple materials are p-type and n-type polysilicon since they have a large Seebeck coefficient difference. The output power of the micro generator depends on the temperature difference in the hot and cold parts of the thermocouples. In order to increase this temperature difference, the hot part of the thermocouples is suspended to reduce heat-sinking. The micro generator needs a post-CMOS process to release the suspended structures of hot part, which the post-process includes an anisotropic dry etching to etch the sacrificial oxide layer and an isotropic dry etching to remove the silicon substrate. Experiments show that the output power of the micro generator is 9.4 mW at a temperature difference of 15 K. View Full-Text
Keywords: energy harvesting; thermoelectric generator; thermocouple; CMOS energy harvesting; thermoelectric generator; thermocouple; CMOS
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Yang, M.-Z.; Wu, C.-C.; Dai, C.-L.; Tsai, W.-J. Energy Harvesting Thermoelectric Generators Manufactured Using the Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor Process. Sensors 2013, 13, 2359-2367.

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