High Efficiency MEMS Based Cryocooler
New developments in micro miniaturized systems have enabled very efficient cooling systems. The key figure of merit for these devices is the specific capacity which is defined as the ratio of the heat dissipation capacity vs. the overall mass of the dissipating device. In the case of microlithographically patterned, microelectromechanical system (MEMS) components, the dimensional capabilities are extremely efficient as unique structural designs of micro-oscillating diaphragms prepared by undercut etching of vapor deposited layers enable large heat transport capabilities relative to the overall size of the devices. In particular, Stirling engines, which act as transducers for mechanical to thermal energy conversion, have shown particular promise as integrated MEMS coolers for integrated circuits and other planar detection arrays compared to their counterparts, thermoelectric coolers (TECs). To this end, Nanohmics plans to introduce two novel components to MEMS micro-cryocooler Stirling Engines systems that will dramatically improve the performance of the device. This includes replacing the silicon heat exchanger plates and flexible membranes with high thermally conductivity novel thin film materials using a MEMS processing technique and introduction of novel aerogels into the fluid heat exchanger matrix with ultra low thermal conductivities.
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