SF Bay Area Nanotechnology Council


Nano-Justified: Why Nano Matters for Silicon Thermoelectrics

Akram_Boukai_300x370Tuesday February 18, 2014
Noon Р1  pm
Texas Instruments (TI) Auditorium E-1
2900 Semiconductor Drive
Santa Clara, CA







TITLE: Nano-Justified: Why Nano Matters for Silicon Thermoelectrics

SPEAKER: Akram Boukai, CEO and Co-Founder, Silicium Energy

Nano has been an overhyped buzz word for more than a decade and yet it’s difficult to point to a product that benefits from the nanoscale. The field of thermoelectrics, however, benefits tremendously from nanostructuring due to dissimilar length scales between heat and electron transport. Silicon in particular has very different length scales for heat and electron transport. Recently, silicon based thermoelectric devices that utilize a finely tuned nanostructure have delivered high performance in the lab. This discovery culminated in the formation of Silicium Energy in 2011 with funding from Khosla Ventures. Silicium Energy is developing next-generation thermoelectric devices with unprecedented performance designed to revolutionize markets for waste heat recovery and refrigeration. Silicium’s platform has the potential to achieve high ZT across a wide range of temperatures at low cost. Silicium leverages technology created at Caltech and the University of Michigan, which utilizes a “fab-less” approach for high performance thermoelectrics using off the shelf silicon wafers.

Akram Boukai obtained his PhD from the California Institute of Technology in 2008. His research focused on the thermoelectric properties of nanostructured silicon where he produced and measured high efficiency thermoelectrics. He then went on to become an Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan in the Materials Science and Engineering Department. There his group made a breakthrough in the manufacture of nanostructured silicon thermoelectrics, which resulted in the formation of a Khosla Ventures funded startup, Silicium Energy. Akram now serves full-time as the co-founder and CEO of Silicium Energy and is continuing his dream of taking his laboratory discovery on silicon thermoelectrics to market.


  • 11:30 am – Registration & light lunch (pizza & drinks)
  • Noon – Presentation & Questions/Answers
  • 1:00 pm –¬†Adjourn
COST: IEEE Members: $5, Non-members:$10

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