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High Figure-of-Merit Macro-Structured Thermoelectric Materials

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX15CS15P
Agency Tracking Number: 150117
Amount: $119,963.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: T3.01
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2015
Award Year: 2015
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2015-06-17
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2016-06-17
Small Business Information
1750 Kraft Drive, Suite 1007
BLACKSBURG, VA 24060-6375
United States
DUNS: 962366758
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Vladimir Kochergin
 CEO/ President
 (540) 394-4040
Business Contact
 Elena Kochergina
Title: Business Official
Phone: (540) 394-4040
Research Institution
 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
 Shannell Farmer
North End Center, Suite 4200, Virginia Tech 300 Turner Stree
Blacksburg, VA 24061-0244
United States

 (540) 231-5578
 Domestic Nonprofit Research Organization

Thermoelectric devices are critical to multiple NASA missions for power conversion with radioisotope sources. 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. and Virginia Tech is proposing to develop a revolutionary high efficiency thermoelectric material fabricated on completely new fabrication principles. The proposed material and device will provide NASA with much needed highly efficient (ZT>1.6), macroscopically thick (from 100s of micrometers to over a millimeter) thermoelectric material that will permit >15% conversion efficiency of thermoelectric generation when using high grade space-qualified sources. The proposed material is comprised of PbTe/PbSe three-dimensional "wells" of PbTe/PbSe quantum dot superlattices (QDS) fabricated by a conformal coating of a structured silicon substrate with electrochemical Atomic Layer Deposition (eALD). In Phase I of the project the feasibility of the approach will be demonstrated by proving ZT>1.6. In Phase II the team will fabricate the thermoelectric generator, and will demonstrate conversion efficiencies exceeding 15%. After Phase II, MicroXact will commercialize the technology.

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

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