Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Fabrication and characterization of nanostructured III-V thermoelectric materials



Clint J. Novotny, Fred Sharifi


Approximately two thirds of all fossil fuel used is lost as heat. Thermoelectric materials, which convert heat into electrical energy, may provide a solution to partially recover some of this lost energy. To date, most commercial thermoelectric materials are too inefficient to be a viable option for most waste heat applications. This research proposes to investigate the fabrication and characterization of nanostructured III-V semiconductor thermoelectric materials with the goal of increasing the performance of existing technology. In order to improve thermoelectric material efficiency, either the lattice thermal conductivity must be lowered or the thermoelectric power factor must be increased. This research will focus on the latter by modifying the density of states of the semiconductor material and studying the effect of quantum confinement on the material’s thermoelectric properties. Using focused ion beam milling, nanostructured cantilevers are fabricated from single crystal wafers. An all-around gate dielectric and electrode are deposited to create a depletion region along the outer core of the cantilever, thus creating an inner conductive core. The Seebeck coefficient can then be measured as a function of confinement by varying the gate voltage. This technique can be applied to various material systems to investigate the effects of confinement on their thermoelectric properties.
Proceedings Title
Nanoengineering: Fabrication, Properties, Optics, and Devices X
Conference Dates
August 25-29, 2013
Conference Location
San Diego, CA
Conference Title
SPIE NanoScience + Engineering


Thermoelectrics, nanofabrication, focused ion beam, nanostructures, semiconductor


Novotny, C. and Sharifi, F. (2013), Fabrication and characterization of nanostructured III-V thermoelectric materials, Nanoengineering: Fabrication, Properties, Optics, and Devices X, San Diego, CA, [online], (Accessed June 15, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created September 26, 2013, Updated February 19, 2017