Ultraefficient Themoelectric Devices

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX10CB68C
Agency Tracking Number: 080080
Amount: $599,246.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2010
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: T8.01
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
2000 Kraft Drive, Suite 1207, Blacksburg, VA, 24060-6373
DUNS: 808145465
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Vladimir Kochergin
 Principal Investigator
 (614) 917-7202
Business Contact
 Paul Hines
Title: President & CEO
Phone: (540) 540-6917
Email: phines@microxact.com
Research Institution
 Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University
 Katie Reaves
 Physics Dept, Robeson Hall (0435)
Blacksburg, VA, 24061
 (540) 231-6544
 Domestic nonprofit research organization
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.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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