Case 8761

A Simple Thermoelectric Device Test Structure

Keywords:

Thermoelectric materials

Applications:

Microelectronics, air conditioners, refrigeration cooling systems

Problem:

Improve thermoelectric figures of merit to enable use of thermoelectric devices to replace Freon-based air-conditioners and refrigeration cooling systems

Technology:

The invention proposes a simple test device to develop thermoelectric materials and structures, in particular those that serve as thermoelectric power generation and cooling devices. It is particularly applicable for testing devices made from thick films of superlattices and quantum dot materials. Thermoelectric devices are widely used in microelectronics, in biotechnologies, and have the potential to replace Freon-based air-conditioners and refrigeration cooling systems. They may also be used to convert heat into useful electrical power.

Advantages:
  • Achieve larger temperature difference than conventional alloys
  • Absence of moving parts achieves long life, low maintenance and high reliability
  • No emission of toxic gases (environmentally-friendly)

Inventors:
  • Theodore C. Harman (Lincoln Laboratory)
  • Michael P. Walsh (Lincoln Laboratory)
  • Patrick J. Taylor (Lincoln Laboratory)
  • Brian E. Laforge (Lincoln Laboratory)

Intellectual Property:

U.S. Patent Number 6,856,136 issued on February 15, 2005

U.S. Patent Number 7,179,986 issued on February 20, 2007

Publications:

N/A

Last revised: December 2, 2010

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