Microscale Thermoelectric Cooler Assembled from Bulk Materials for Thermal Management of Electronics

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Conference Proceeding

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Electronic device thermal management improvements are critical to continued increases in computing performance. Thermoelectric coolers (TECs) show promise in meeting this need. This paper compares the performance of Bismuth Telluride (BiTe) in three different forms: thin film, bulk, and a hypothetical nanostructured bulk material. This hypothetical materials is based on recent experimental demonstrations in Lead Telluride. Performances of the TEC based on the three different BiTe forms are compared with respect to heat pumping capacity and optimum thickness. The simulations are based on 1-D models that include the effects of thermal and electrical contact resistance. Simulated results show a significant enhancement in maximum heat pumping capacity of 'Nanostrutured-Bulk TEC'. Modified definitions of heat pumping capacity and coefficient of performance (COP) are proposed for evaluating TECs used to cool objects with temperatures above ambient temperature. It is observed that the appropriate heat sink selection is key factor for achieving the improved TEC performance while maintaining minimum thickness.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

ASME 2008 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, v. 10, p. 1553-1560, art. IMECE2008-6780