Published for the Materials Research Society by the American Institute of Physics
Journal of Materials Research vol:26 issue:15 pages:1953-1957
Effect of the seed layer on Seebeck coefficient measurement of electroplated thermoelectric films was quantitatively analyzed. It is found that sheet, rather than bulk resistance of the seed layer, or more precisely its relative comparison to sheet resistance of the film, determines the effects. The analysis reveals that the seed layer's effect can be neglected (within 1% error) only if the sheet resistance ratio [R-square 2(film)/R-square 1(seed)] is smaller than 0.01. This condition commonly requires film thicknesses of 100 mu m or more, which is not practically relevant. Based on the analysis we proposed a new method that is applicable for 10 times thinner films. This approach for determining Seebeck coefficient is simple, and more importantly, electroplated films can be characterized in their statu nascendi. Finite element simulation and experiments verified the analysis.