Case 10634

Cold electron thermal-electric diode

Keywords:

Refrigeration, thermoelectric device, diode behavior, semiconductor structure

Applications:

Direct energy conversion from heat/thermal energy to electricity

Problem:

Thermoelectric devices have low energy efficiency.

Technology:

The invention designs a forward electrical potential step that creates an electron temperature discontinuity in a semiconductor structure. The design shows that electron temperature at the interface region has a large discontinuity that leads to a large Fermi level discontinuity, which increases the effective Seebeck coefficient (S) of the semiconductor structure. The power factor thus increases significantly over best thermoelectric materials.

Advantages:
  • New device structure designs are provided
  • Improve energy conversion efficiency

Inventors:

Intellectual Property:

US Patent Number 8,309,838, filed on November 13, 2012

Publications:

N/A

Last revised: April 30, 2013

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