Micromachined radial thermoelectric modules for power generation using hot gas streams

TitleMicromachined radial thermoelectric modules for power generation using hot gas streams
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsBoniche, I., and D. P. Arnold
JournalJ. Microelectromechanical Systems
Start Page512
Date Published03/2011
Type of ArticleFull Research Paper
Keywordsenergy harvesting, Silicon, Thermoelectric generator

This paper presents the design, fabrication, and characterization

of silicon-micromachined thermoelectric generator

(TEG) modules (13-mm diameter and 0.36 mm thick) for power

generation from hot gas streams. Individual TEG modules consist

of radially oriented thermoelements on a thermally insulating

annular polyimide layer spanning between inner and outer silicon

fin structures. Hot gas flows through a center orifice, establishing

a radial thermal gradient across the thermopile, thus generating

an output voltage. The concept is demonstrated using thin-film

metal thermoelements, where, for a 195 C gas stream, an open-circuit

voltage of 80 mV is generated and 0.8 μW of power

(0.02 mW/cm3 power density) is delivered to a 2-kΩ resistive

load. Analytic thermal and electrical models are presented and

shown to match well the experimental thermal and electrical

measurements. This paper serves as a stepping stone toward the

development of superior-performing TEG modules using semiconductor


Refereed DesignationUnknown