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23 January 2008


Nextreme embeds thin-film optocooler into LED & laser packages

Nextreme Thermal Solutions of Durham, NC, USA has announced new applications for its UPF OptoCooler thermoelectric module: the cooling of LEDs and temperature control of laser diodes.

When embedded in a laser package, the OptoCooler module can pump a heat density of up to 78 W/cm² - an industry first, Nextreme claims - to maintain optimal operating conditions and performance for the diode.

Laser diodes use thermoelectric devices for precision temperature control to improve output levels and wavelength integrity. However, a major trend in photonics has been the transition to smaller, more integrated and cheaper packaging to enable a lower cost structure and higher volume manufacturing, so conventional thermo-electric cooler (TEC) solutions have become increasingly difficult to implement as the size and power densities have not been addressed with conventional bulk thermo-electric technology.

A low-power laser might generate as little as 0.09W of power but be only ~300µm x 200µm in size, equating to a device producing ~150W/cm². Even if that power is spread by a factor of 30 (to 5W/cm²) it still falls outside the operating regime of a typical bulk TEC, especially within the constraints of the package size.

In contrast, thin-film thermoelectric cooling devices can pump more heat and be made much smaller than conventional thermoelectric devices. The new UPF OptoCooler thermoelectric module removes a maximum of 420mW of heat at 25°C ambient in an active footprint of just 0.55mm². It can therefore pump a heat density up to 78W/cm² or cool up to 45°C. At 85°C, these values increase to 610mW, 112W/cm² and 60°C, respectively.

OptoCooler modules can be purchased for $12 in unit volumes of 1000s.

See related item:

Nextreme launches OptoCooler thermoelectric module

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