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Ultraefficient Themoelectric Devices

Award Information

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2009 / STTR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
MicroXact, Inc.
295 Industrial Drive Christiansburg, VA -
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2009
Title: Ultraefficient Themoelectric Devices
Agency: NASA
Contract: NNX09CF75P
Award Amount: $98,181.00


Thermoelectric (TE) devices already found a wide range of commercial, military and aerospace applications. However, at present commercially available TE devices typically offer limited heat to electricity conversion efficiencies, well below the fundamental thermodynamic limit, calling for the development of higher efficiency materials. The team of MicroXact Inc and UCLA DRL is proposing to develop a revolutionary ultrahigh efficiency thermoelectric material fabricated on completely new fabrication principles. The material comprises the three-dimensional "wells" of Ge/Si Quantum Quantum Dot Superlattices fabricated by a conformal coating of macroporous silicon (MPSi) pore walls. Such a material will provide very high ZT values at macroscopic thicknesses of the material, permitting 30% or more conversion efficiencies. In Phase I of the project the team will develop a thorough model of the proposed TE material, will theoretically predict the achievable efficiency of the material and will demonstrate the growth of the single layer of QDs on the pore walls. In Phase II the team will fabricate the proposed material and will demonstrate the efficiencies exceeding 30%. After the Phase II the team will attract VC funding to commercialize the technology.

Principal Investigator:

Paul Hines
Principal Investigator

Business Contact:

Paul Hines
Business Official
Small Business Information at Submission:

MicroXact, Inc.
2000 Kraft Drive, Suite 1207 Blacksburg, VA 24060

EIN/Tax ID: 510525349
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Research Institution Information:
University of California Los Angeles
56-125B Engineering IV Bldg.
Los Angeles, CA 90095 1594
Contact Phone: (310) 825-1609
RI Type: Nonprofit college or university