Case 11653

Multistage Thick Film Thermoelectric Devices


Multistage thermoelectric micro cryogenic cooler (MTMCC), IR detection, p-n junction


The technology creates cryogenic temperature environments at the locations that are essential for thermoelectric devices function in microscale.


Large size commercial thermoelectric devices have limit on package of MTMCC, heat loss, etc.


The technology is an innovative approach to fabricate multistage thermoelectric micro cryogenic coolers and to demonstrate their versatility through applications in IR detection. By creating p-type leg and n-type leg portion of two cooling stages, the p-n junctions are thermally and electrically coupled and therefore, at least a portion of a current through one stage during operation is coupled to the other. The p-n junction element also forms a unitary thermoelectric structure that spans more than one stage of the cooler, so that all the stages of a multistage thermoelectric cryogenic cooler can be fabricated together.

  • Minimizes heat loss in devices
  • Improves device performance
  • Smaller size
  • Simplifies power supply

  • Professor Gang Chen(Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT)
  • Prof. Ronggui Yang (University of Colorado at Boulder)
  • Xiaoyuan Chen (Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT)

Intellectual Property:

US Patent Application 11/668765, filed on January 30, 2007


Yang, R., Chen, G.,Snyder G. J., Fleurial J. P., (2004) “Multistage Thermoelectric Microcoolers”, Journal of Applied Physics, Vol. 95, Issue 12, pp.85

Last revised: November 28, 2012

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