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  1. Future advancements in three-dimensional (3D) electronics require robust thermal management methodology. Thermoelectric coolers (TECs) are reliable and solid-state heat pumping devices with high cooling capacity that can meet the requirements of emerging 3D microelectronic devices. Here, we first provide the design of TECs for electronics cooling using a computational model and then experimentally validate the main predictions. Key device parameters such as device thickness, leg density, and contact resistance were studied to understand their influence on the performance of TECs. Our results show that it is possible to achieve high cooling power density through optimization of TE leg height and packing density. Scaling of TECs is shown to provide ultra-high cooling power density.
  2. Abstract

    Thermoelectric (TE) generators enable the direct and reversible conversion between heat and electricity, providing applications in both refrigeration and power generation. In the last decade, several TE materials with relatively high figures of merit (zT) have been reported in the low‐ and high‐temperature regimes. However, there is an urgent demand for high‐performance TE materials working in the mid‐temperature range (400–700 K). Herein, p‐type AgSbTe2materials stabilized with S and Se co‐doping are demonstrated to exhibit an outstanding maximum figure of merit (zTmax) of 2.3 at 673 K and an average figure of merit (zTave) of 1.59 over the wide temperature range of 300–673 K. This exceptional performance arises from an enhanced carrier density resulting from a higher concentration of silver vacancies, a vastly improved Seebeck coefficient enabled by the flattening of the valence band maximum and the inhibited formation of n‐type Ag2Te, and ahighly improved stability beyond 673 K. The optimized material is used to fabricate a single‐leg device with efficiencies up to 13.3% and a unicouple TE device reaching energy conversion efficiencies up to 12.3% at a temperature difference of 370 K. These results highlight an effective strategy to engineer high‐performance TE material in the mid‐temperature range.

    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 24, 2023
  3. Abstract

    The rapid enhancement of the thermoelectric (TE) figure‐of‐merit (zT) in the past decade has opened opportunities for developing and transitioning solid state waste heat recovery systems. Here, a segmented TE device architecture is demonstrated in conjunction with heterogeneous material integration that results in high unicouple‐level conversion efficiency of 12% under a temperature difference of 584 K. This breakthrough is the result of success in fabricating bismuth telluride/half‐Heusler segmented TE unicouple modules using a “hot‐to‐cold” fabrication technique that provides significantly reduced electrical and thermal contact resistance. Extensive analytical and finite element modeling is conducted to provide an understanding of the nature of thermal transport and contributions arising from various thermal and physical parameters. Bismuth telluride/half‐Heusler based segmented thermoelectric generators (TEGs) can provide higher practical temperature difference with optimum averagezTacross the whole operating range. These results will have immediate impact on the design and development of TEGs and in the general design of devices based upon heterostructures that take advantage of gradients in the figure of merit.