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Sensors 2010, 10(2), 1315-1325; doi:10.3390/s100201315
Article

Fabrication and Characterization of CMOS-MEMS Thermoelectric Micro Generators

1
,
2
,
1,*  and 1
1 Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung, 402, Taiwan 2 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, National University of Kaohsiung, Kaohsiung, 811, Taiwan
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 December 2009 / Revised: 28 January 2010 / Accepted: 1 February 2010 / Published: 9 February 2010
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Abstract

This work presents a thermoelectric micro generator fabricated by the commercial 0.35 μm complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) process and the post-CMOS process. The micro generator is composed of 24 thermocouples in series. Each thermocouple is constructed by p-type and n-type polysilicon strips. The output power of the generator depends on the temperature difference between the hot and cold parts in the thermocouples. In order to prevent heat-receiving in the cold part in the thermocouples, the cold part is covered with a silicon dioxide layer with low thermal conductivity to insulate the heat source. The hot part of the thermocouples is suspended and connected to an aluminum plate, to increases the heat-receiving area in the hot part. The generator requires a post-CMOS process to release the suspended structures. The post-CMOS process uses an anisotropic dry etching to remove the oxide sacrificial layer and an isotropic dry etching to etch the silicon substrate. Experimental results show that the micro generator has an output voltage of 67 μV at the temperature difference of 1 K.
Keywords: thermocouples; micro generators; CMOS-MEMS thermocouples; micro generators; CMOS-MEMS
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Kao, P.-H.; Shih, P.-J.; Dai, C.-L.; Liu, M.-C. Fabrication and Characterization of CMOS-MEMS Thermoelectric Micro Generators. Sensors 2010, 10, 1315-1325.

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