Quantitative thermopower profiling across a silicon p-n junction with nanometer resolution

Byeonghee Lee, Kyeongtae Kim, Seungkoo Lee, Jong Hoon Kim, Dae Soon Lim, Ohmyoung Kwon, Joon Sik Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Thermopower (S) profiling with nanometer resolution is essential for enhancing the thermoelectric figure of merit, ZT, through the nanostructuring of materials and for carrier density profiling in nanoelectronic devices. However, only qualitative and impractical methods or techniques with low resolutions have been reported thus far. Herein, we develop a quantitative S profiling method with nanometer resolution, scanning Seebeck microscopy (SSM), and batch-fabricate diamond thermocouple probes to apply SSM to silicon, which requires a contact stress higher than 10 GPa for stable electrical contact. The distance between the positive and negative peaks of the S profile across the silicon p-n junction measured by SSM is 4 nm, while the theoretical distance is 2 nm. Because of its extremely high spatial resolution, quantitative measurement, and ease of use, SSM could be a crucial tool not only for the characterization of nano-thermoelectric materials and nanoelectronic devices but also for the analysis of nanoscale thermal and electrical phenomena in general.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4472-4476
Number of pages5
JournalNano Letters
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Sept 12


  • Scanning Seebeck microscopy
  • carrier density
  • diamond thermocouple probe
  • nanometer resolution
  • quantitative profiling
  • thermopower

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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