Next Generation Thermoelectric Devices

Award Information
Department of Defense
Air Force
Award Year:
Phase II
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
MicroXact, Inc.
295 Industrial Drive, Suite 1207, Christiansburg, VA, -
Hubzone Owned:
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Vladimir Kochergin
(540) 394-4040
Business Contact:
Paul Hines
Vice President of Operations
(540) 392-6917
Research Institution:
Old Dominion University
Tammie Bain
P.O. Box 6369
Norfolk, VA, 23508-0369
(757) 683-4293
Nonprofit college or university
ABSTRACT: The team of MicroXact, Inc., ODU and Virginia Tech proposes to develop a revolutionary high efficiency thermoelectric material fabricated on completely new fabrication principles. The material comprises the three-dimensional"wells"of PbTe/PbSe superlattices fabricated by a conformal coating via Atomic layer Deposition (ALD) of macroporous silicon substrates. Such a material will provide ZT>2 at macroscopic thicknesses of the material, permitting 20% or more conversion efficiencies for 400K-600K temperature range. Specifically to the Air Force, the proposed solution can provide more energy- and weight-efficient cooling of infrared focal plane arrays, can provide additional power source on missions where power is at premium (UAVs, satellites) and may find applications in many other applications. In Phase I the team developed and demonstrated ALD conformal coating of high aspect ratio macroporous silicon templates with Pb2Te3, Pb2Se3 and PbTe/PbSeTe superlattices, developed a thorough model of the material, and numerically verified that the proposed material can enable>20% conversion efficiency at 400K-600K range with practical heat sinks. Phase II the team will fabricate the proposed material and device, and will demonstrate ZT>2 and conversion efficiencies exceeding 20%. After the Phase II, MicroXact will commercialize the proposed thermoelectric technology. BENEFIT: Due to predicted unmatched performance characteristics (high efficiency, small size/weight) and large volume-compatible, economically advantageous fabrication process the proposed thermoelectric materials and devices are expected to find a wide range of defense, scientific and commercial applications. Potential DoD applications of the proposed technology are spanning from power generation (higher efficiency jet engines, additional power sources for military satellites) to efficient cooling of infrared cameras in focal plane arrays and thermoelectric cooling of electronics and optoelectronics. In all these applications the incorporation of the proposed material will result in significant improvements of operational characteristics of mentioned components. Commercial applications include auto market (where thermoelectric materials are already being used for cooling seats and improving efficiency of engine), water coolers, and potentially power plants. The advantages of the proposed technology will provide the competitive advantage to MicroXact sufficient for successful market penetration. The proposed concept, when developed and commercialized, is expected to cause a significant impact on both the DoD missions and commercial applications.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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