Power conversion modules utilizing quantum well thermoelectric materials

J. C. Bass, S. Ghamaty, D. Snowden, D. Allen

Hi-Z Technology, Inc., 7606 Miramar Road, San Diego CA 92126 4210, U.S.A.

Following on from the work that was presented at the last ICT, in which a high efficiency quantum well thermoelectric couple was demonstrated, we have begun the design of power conversion modules utilizing the quantum well films.

The materials used in the modules will be B4C/B9C for the P leg and either Si/SiGe or Si/SiC for the N legs. The films for both the N and P elements will consist of alternating 100D thick layers of the appropriate material deposited on a 5 Fm thick silicon substrate. The total thickness of the films will be 30 Fm.

This paper describes the design approaches for quantum well modules that can be used in various generating applications. One configuration is similar to the manner in which today’s bismuth telluride alloy material is used. Another takes advantage of the inherently thin film shape of the couples. Arrangements for quantum well thermoelectric cooling applications are also discussed.