• Patent

Cascade cryogenic thermoelectric cooler for cryogenic and room temperature applications

Citation

Venkatasubramanian, R. (2003). IPC No. U.S.Cascade cryogenic thermoelectric cooler for cryogenic and room temperature applications (Patent No. 6662570.)

Abstract

A cascade thermoelectric cooler designed to cool to cryogenic temperatures of 30 to 120 K integrates high performance.backslash.high-ZT Bi.sub.x Sb.sub.2-x Te.sub.3 and Bi.sub.2 Te.sub.3-x Se.sub.3 -based super-lattice-structure thin-film thermoelectric devices with a bulk-material based thermoelectric cooler including plural cascaded cold stages with each successive cascaded cold stage able to cool to a progressively lower temperature. Each cold stage in the bulk-material thermoelectric cooler includes a heat source plate, a heat sink plate, a p-type thermoelectric, and a n-type thermoelectric. Moreover, the thin-film thermoelectric cooler can have multiple stages in which each stage contains a heat source plate, a heat sink plate, a p-type super-latticed thermoelectric element, and a n type super-latticed thermoelectric element. By bonding an output heat source plate on the thin-film thermoelectric cooler to an input heat sink plate on the bulk-material thermoelectric cooler, the integration of the thin-film thermoelectric with the bulk-material-based thermoelectric yields a cascade thermoelectric cooler wherein the bulk-material-based thermoelectric cooler cools to 160 K and the thin-film thermoelectric device cools to cryogenic temperatures between 70 and 120 K. Another level of thin-film super-lattice integration can achieve temperatures of 30 K. Alternatively, the integration of a high ZT thin-film superlattice thermoelectric cooler on a multi-staged bulk-material-based thermoelectric cooler can produce a higher performance non-cryogenic cooler.