This paper aims to focus on the fabrication and characterization of mixed thin-/thick-film thermoelectric microgenerators, based on magnetron sputtered constantan (copper–nickel alloy) and screen-printed silver. To improve the adhesion of the constantan layer to the applied substrates, the additional chromium sublayer was used. The aim of the study was to investigate the influence of chromium sublayer on the electrical and thermoelectric properties of such hybrid microgenerators.Design/methodology/approachFabrication of such structures consisted of several steps – magnetron sputtering of the chromium and then constantan layer, exposing the first arms of thermocouples, applying the second arms by screen-printing technology and firing the prepared structures in a belt furnace. The structures were made both on Al2O3 (alumina) and low temperature co-fired ceramics (LTCC) substrates.FindingsTo the best of the authors’ knowledge, for the first time, laser ablation process was applied to fabricate the first arms of thermocouples from a layer of constantan only or constantan with a chromium sublayer. Geometric measurements have shown that the mapping of mask pattern by laser ablation technique is very accurate.Originality/valueThe determined Seebeck coefficient of the realized structures was about 40.4 µV/K. After firing the exemplary structures at 850°C peak temperature, Seebeck coefficient is increased to an average value of 51 µV/K.
Microelectronics International – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 21, 2020
Keywords: LTCC; Silver; Thermoelectricity; Microgenerator; Constantan; Alumina