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

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Defense
Amount:
$99,997.00
Program:
STTR
Contract:
W9113M-10-P-0061
Solitcitation Year:
2009
Solicitation Number:
2009.B
Branch:
Missile Defense Agency
Award Year:
2010
Phase:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
B09B-007-0058
Solicitation Topic Code:
MDA09-T007
Small Business Information
EPIR Technologies Inc
590 Territorial Drive, Suite B, Bolingbrook, IL, 60440
Hubzone Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Duns:
068568588
Principal Investigator
 Silviu Velicu
 Director R&D/Senior Scientist
 (630) 771-0203
 svelicu@epir.com
Business Contact
 Sivalingam Sivananthan
Title: President & CEO
Phone: (630) 771-0201
Email: 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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