Case 11653

Multistage Thick Film Thermoelectric Devices

Keywords:

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

Applications:

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

Problem:

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

Technology:

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.

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

Inventors:
  • 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

Publications:

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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