Advanced Thermoelectric Cooling Materials Through Anisotropic Modifications

Period of Performance: 04/03/1995 - 10/02/1995


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Marlow Industries, Inc.
10451 Vista Park Road
Dallas, TX 75238
Principal Investigator


Todays thermoelectric cooling materials exhibit a peak performance, termed ZT, of about 1.0. Recent development in the theory of quantum-well superlattices suggest that ZTs of up to 9 are possible. Work is ongoing to synthesize superlattices using techniques such as molecular beam epitaxy, sputtering and chemical vapor deposition but to date high quality thermoelectric superlattices have not been produced. An alternate approach is proposed to make a superlattice through the modification of bulk cooling compounds. The modifications will increase the anisotropy of the materials and will have the potential for impacting the Seebeck coefficient, electrical resistivity and thermal conductivity in beneficial ways resulting in an overall improvement of ZT. Phase I work would focus on Bi(2)Te(3) laying the framework for Bi(2)Te(3)-Sb(2)Te(3)-Bi(2)Se(3) alloys in phase II.