High Coefficient of Performance HgCdTe And Metallic Superlattice-Based Thermoelectric Coolers

Period of Performance: 01/01/2011 - 12/31/2011

$100K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

EPIR, Inc.
590 Territorial Drive
Bolingbrook , IL 60440
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Abstract

We propose the development of nanoscale superlattices (SLs) as the active elements of high efficiency thermoelectric coolers.Recent models predict that the thermoelectric figure of merit ZT can reach 4 for elements fabricated from HgCdTe-based SLs andcould exceed 6 for related metal/semiconductor SLs. The feasibility of using HgCdTe and metal-based SL materials with embeddednanodefects for increased hot-carrier transport during thermoelectric cooling will be demonstrated in the proposed Phase 1 effort. Wewill perform calculations to optimize the material parameters of HgCdTe- and metal-based SL structures to maximize ZT. Next, we willuse our extensive experience in molecular beam epitaxy to grow the designed structures. Finally, we will develop device structuresand metallization methods appropriate for performing ZT measurements, measure the ZTs of fabricated devices and compare resultswith theory.