Refrigeration, thermoelectric device, diode behavior, semiconductor structure
Direct energy conversion from heat/thermal energy to electricity
Thermoelectric devices have low energy efficiency.
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.
US Patent Number 8,309,838, filed on November 13, 2012
Last revised: April 30, 2013
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