MEMS fabricated conformal electrodes for thermotunneling applications

We developed a microelectromechanical system (MEMS) to fabricate nanogap electrodes of uniform gap-size (~ 100 nm) across large (~ 10 µm2) overlapping area (conformal electrodes) by controlled fracture of a <111>-oriented silicon micro-beam, with an included thermal actuator, and conducted field emission studies on the fabricated nanogaps. Such nanogaps are important for realizing thermotunneling phenomenon based devices for bulk scale application. Thermotunneling devices are expected to find the following applications


  • High efficiency on-chip refrigeration (solid state refrigerator)
  • Energy harvesting by conversion of waste heat energy to electrical energy.