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Ultraefficient Themoelectric Devices

Award Information

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2010 / 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 2
Fiscal Year: 2010
Title: Ultraefficient Themoelectric Devices
Agency: NASA
Contract: NNX10CB68C
Award Amount: $599,246.00


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., Virginia Tech and Sundew Technologies Inc. is proposing to develop a revolutionary ultrahigh efficiency thermoelectric material fabricated on completely new fabrication principles. The material comprises the three-dimensional "wells" of Bi2Te3/Bb2Te3 Quantum Well Superlattices fabricated by a conformal coating of macroporous silicon (MPSi) pore walls. Such a material will provide ZT >2 at macroscopic thicknesses of the material, permitting 15% or more conversion efficiencies. In Phase I of the project the thorough model of the proposed TE material was developed, the achievable efficiency and ZT of the material were confirmed through numerical modeling, and conformal coating of pore walls with Sb2Te3 was experimentally demonstrated, validating the proposed concept. In Phase II the team will fabricate the proposed material and device, and will demonstrate ZT>2 and conversion efficiencies exceeding 15%. After the Phase II MicroXact will commercialize the technology.

Principal Investigator:

Vladimir Kochergin
Principal Investigator

Business Contact:

Paul Hines
President & CEO
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:
Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University
Physics Dept, Robeson Hall (0435)
Blacksburg, VA 24061
Contact Phone: 5402316544