Thermoelectric characterization of individual bismuth selenide topological insulator nanoribbons
Bismuth selenide (Bi2Se3) nanoribbons have attracted tremendous research interest recently to study the properties of topologically protected surface states that enable new opportunities to enhance the thermoelectric performance. However, the thermoelectric characterization of individual Bi2Se3 nanoribbons is rare due to the technological challenges in the measurements. One challenge is to ensure good contacts between the nanoribbon and electrodes in order to determine the thermal and electrical properties accurately. In this work, we report the thermoelectric characterization of individual Bi2Se3 nanoribbons via a suspended microdevice method. Through careful measurements, we have demonstrated that contact thermal resistance is negligible after the electron-beam-induced deposition (EBID) of platinum/carbon (Pt/C) composites at the contacts between the nanoribbon and electrodes. It is shown that the thermal conductivity of the Bi2Se3 nanoribbons is less than 50% of the bulk value over the whole measurement temperature range, which can be attributed to enhanced phonon boundary scattering. Our results indicate that intrinsic Bi2Se3 nanoribbons prepared in this work are highly doped n-type semiconductors, and therefore the Fermi level should be in the conduction band and no topological transport behavior can be observed in the intrinsic system.