Übensee, Hartmut; Hiller, Erik (CiS Forschungsinstitut für Mikrosensorik und Photovoltaik GmbH, Konrad-Zuse-Str. 14, 99099 Erfurt, Germany)
Reiche, Manfred (Max Planck Institut für Mikrostruktur Physik, Weinberg 2, 06120 Halle (Saale), Germany)
CiS is a partner for product oriented research and development of new sensor solutions and microsystems based on silicon technologies with focus to mechanic, optoelectronic and radiation detectors and capacitive microsystems for science and research. Micro-scale energy harvesting integrated in silicon would be an attractive and increasingly feasible option to alleviate the power supply of our applications. But until now silicon is frowned as thermogenerator material because of its low figure of merrit, related to the high thermal conductivity despite the high Seebeck coefficients for n- and p-silicon. We are confident that nevertheless silicon can be used as thermogenerator material in special, but technical important applications with high stable temperature gradient and where removal of excessive heat is required anyway. Examples are technical facilities or processes and combustion engines. With the attention to such applications it should be possible to combine the excellent advantages of silicon and the feasibility to integrate sensor and power supply.