A cascade thermoelectric cooler designed to cool to cryogenictemperatures of 30 to 120 K integrates highperformance.backslash.high-ZT Bi.sub.x Sb.sub.2-x Te.sub.3 andBi.sub.2 Te.sub.3-x Se.sub.3 -based super-lattice-structurethin-film thermoelectric devices with a bulk-material basedthermoelectric cooler including plural cascaded cold stages witheach successive cascaded cold stage able to cool to a progressivelylower temperature. Each cold stage in the bulk-materialthermoelectric cooler includes a heat source plate, a heat sinkplate, a p-type thermoelectric, and a n-type thermoelectric.Moreover, the thin-film thermoelectric cooler can have multiplestages in which each stage contains a heat source plate, a heatsink plate, a p-type super-latticed thermoelectric element, and a ntype super-latticed thermoelectric element. By bonding an outputheat source plate on the thin-film thermoelectric cooler to aninput heat sink plate on the bulk-material thermoelectric cooler,the integration of the thin-film thermoelectric with thebulk-material-based thermoelectric yields a cascade thermoelectriccooler wherein the bulk-material-based thermoelectric cooler coolsto 160 K and the thin-film thermoelectric device cools to cryogenictemperatures between 70 and 120 K. Another level of thin-filmsuper-lattice integration can achieve temperatures of 30 K.Alternatively, the integration of a high ZT thin-film superlatticethermoelectric cooler on a multi-staged bulk-material-basedthermoelectric cooler can produce a higher performancenon-cryogenic cooler.
Cascade cryogenic thermoelectric cooler for cryogenic and room temperature applications
Venkatasubramanian, R. (2003). IPC No. U.S. Cascade cryogenic thermoelectric cooler for cryogenic and room temperature applications. (U.S. Patent No. 6662570).