Effective thermoelectric materials have a low thermal conductivity and a high electrical conductivity. The performance of the thermoelectric materials and devices is shown by a dimensionless figure of merit, ZT = S2σT/K, where S is the Seebeck coefficient, σ is the electrical conductivity, T is the absolute temperature and K is the thermal conductivity. ZT can be increased by increasing S, increasing σ or decreasing K. MeV ion bombardment caused defects and disorder in the film and the grain boundaries of these nano-scale clusters increase phonon scattering and increase the chance of an inelastic interaction and phonon annihilation. We have prepared 100 alternating layers of Si/Si+Ge nanolayered superlattice films using the ion beam assisted deposition (IBAD). The 5 MeV Si ions bombardments have been performed using the AAMU Pelletron ion beam accelerator to make quantum clusters in the nanolayered superlattice films to decrease the cross plane thermal conductivity, increase the cross plane Seebeck coefficient and cross plane electrical conductivity. We have characterized the thermoelectric thin films before and after Si ion bombardments as we measured the cross-plane Seebeck coefficient, the cross-plane electrical conductivity, and the cross-plane thermal conductivity for different fluences
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Pugh, M., Budak, S., Smith, C. et al. MeV Si Ions Bombardment Effects on the Thermoelectric Properties of Si/Si+Ge Multi-Layer Superlttice Nanolayered Films. MRS Online Proceedings Library 1267, 514 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1557/PROC-1267-DD05-14