RAMOT at Tel Aviv University Ltd.

Bismuth NanoWires and Ohmic Contacts

Posted by RAMOT at Tel Aviv University Ltd.Responsive · Innovative Products and Technologies · Israel

Summary of the technology

We have developed a reproducible method to synthesize single crystalline Bismuth nanowires (BiNWs), 40nm in diameter, with embedded quantum point contacts. We have also developed methods to characterize the ZT values of individual wires, i.e., free of any averaging of ensemble measurements, and we show that our BiNWs have superior thermoelectric properties at low temperatures (77K), with ZT>3.
Project ID : 11-2013-448

RAMOT at Tel Aviv University Ltd.

The Technology

We have developed a reproducible method to synthesize single crystalline Bismuth nanowires (BiNWs), 40nm in diameter, with embedded quantum point contacts. We have also developed methods to characterize the ZT values of individual wires, i.e., free of any averaging of ensemble measurements, and we show that our BiNWs have superior thermoelectric properties at low temperatures (77K), with ZT>3.

The Need

Thermoelectric materials convert thermal gradients and electric fields for power conversion and refrigeration, respectively. Despite their many advantages, devices based on thermoelectric materials are used today only in a few applications, due to their low efficiency, as determined by their figure of merit ZT. While common household refrigerators are operating with a cooling efficiency which corresponds to ZT=3, state of the art thermoelectric materials are typically characterized by ZT=1-1.5.

Theoretical studies predict that scaling down of these materials to the nanometric scale should enhance their efficiency mainly due to two complimentary effects: i) quantum confinement which should result in high Seebeck coefficient, and ii) decreased lattice thermal conductivity.

Stage of Development and Suggested Next Steps

A scalable fabrication of BiNWs has been established.

We are currently seeking to expand our capabilities and demonstrate similar high ZT values at room temperature.

Supporting Publications

  • Bismuth nanowires with very low lattice thermal conductivity as revealed by the 3ω method; A. Holtzman, E Shapira and Y Selzer; Nanotechnology 23, 495711 (2012).
  • Very high thermopower of Bi nanowires with embedded quantum point contacts; E. Shapira, A. Holtzman, D. Marchak, Y. Selzer; Nano Lett 12(2):808-12 (2012)


Project manager

Rona Samler
VP, BD Physical Science, Medical Device, Chemistry

Project researchers

Yoram Selzer
T.A.U Tel Aviv University, Exact Sciences
School of Chemistry

Related keywords

  • Nanotechnologies related to electronics & microelectronics
  • Micro and Nanotechnology related to Electronics and Microelectronics
  • Micro- and Nanotechnology
  • Electronic Components
  • Electronics Related Equipment
  • Laser Related
  • Fibre Optics
  • Micro- and Nanotechnology related to Biological sciences
  • Material Sciences
  • Nanotechnology
  • Nano Materials
  • Nanotechnology
  • Nano Electronics

About RAMOT at Tel Aviv University Ltd.

Technology Transfer Office from Israel

Ramot is Tel Aviv University's (TAU) technology transfer company and its liaison to industry, bringing promising scientific discoveries made at

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