Low Temperature Thermoelectric Cooling of Infrared Focal Plane Arrays with HgCdTe-based Superlattices

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Defense
Branch
Missile Defense Agency
Amount:
$99,997.00
Award Year:
2010
Program:
STTR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
W9113M-10-P-0061
Agency Tracking Number:
B09B-007-0058
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
MDA 09T007
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
EPIR Technologies Inc
590 Territorial Drive, Suite B, Bolingbrook, IL, 60440
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
068568588
Principal Investigator:
Silviu Velicu
Director R&D/Senior Scientist
(630) 771-0203
svelicu@epir.com
Business Contact:
Sivalingam Sivananthan
President & CEO
(630) 771-0201
ssivananthan@epir.com
Research Institution:
University of Michigan
Elaine Brock
3003 S. State St., Rm. 1070
Ann Arbor, MI, 48109
(734) 936-1356
Nonprofit college or university
Abstract
The deployment of next generation focal plane arrays sensing in the long wavelength infrared will improve the detection capabilities in all major MDA infrared systems. However, a major limitation to the employment of these high sensitivity arrays is the cooling system. Current tactical cryocoolers cannot meet the desired temperature requirements. The goal of this project is to develop the technology required for the fabrication of thermoelectric devices capable of cooling the infrared arrays from 65 K to 35 K and to integrate them with current-generation cryocoolers that reach 65 K. We propose the development of nanoscale superlattices (SLs) as the active elements of high efficiency thermoelectric coolers. Recent models predict that the HgCdTe-based SL room temperature thermoelectric figure of merit ZT can exceed 6. The feasibility of using HgCdTe-based SL materials with embedded nanodefects for increased hot-carrier transport will be demonstrated in the proposed Phase I program. We will perform calculations to optimize material parameters to maximize ZT. We will use our extensive experience in molecular beam epitaxy to grow the designed structures. Finally, we will develop device structures and metallization methods appropriate for performing ZT measurements, measure the ZTs of fabricated devices and compare results with theory.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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