30 April 2012

Nextreme achieves 55°C cooling performance in production-level thin-film thermoelectric coolers

Nextreme Thermal Solutions of Durham, NC, USA, which designs and manufactures microscale thin-film thermal management and power generation modules and sub-systems, has announced the availability of new thin-film thermoelectric cooling (TEC) products that offer 55°C of cooling performance at an ambient temperature of 25°C.

The 55°C temperature milestone (ΔTmax) reflects the ability of the thermoelectric device to pump heat efficiently. The firm says that this new level of performance translates to improved cooling efficiency, lower input power requirements, and greater opportunities for solving thermal issues in electronics, photonics and avionic applications. Nextreme will launch new products with this higher level of cooling performance in late second-quarter 2012.

The electronic industry’s continued trend to smaller form factors, greater circuit density, and highly integrated packaging has translated into significant thermal problems for optoelectronics manufacturers, says Nextreme. Bulk TEC devices have been used to provide temperature control of laser diodes and other optoelectronic devices, but have not kept pace with these new requirements due to their larger size and power density limitations. With Nextreme’s thin-film modules, manufacturers of laser diodes, photodiodes, infrared (IR) sensors and other semiconductor chips can now integrate cooling and temperature control functionality directly into the package during assembly, resulting in a high-volume, lower-cost thermal management solution, claims the firm.

Nextreme reckons that its eTEC HV14 is one of the world's smallest thermoelectric modules, with a footprint of only 3mm. The thin-film module can pump up to a maximum power density (Qmax/area) of 120W/cm2 compared with less than 10W/cm2 for a bulk TEC. In addition, the eTEC HV14’s response time is on the order of milliseconds, compared with seconds for bulk devices. These devices are only 0.6mm high, making them the thinnest, highest-heat-pumping thermoelectric coolers on the market, it is claimed.

The miniature size and heat pumping capability make thin-film thermoelectric modules suitable for cooling laser diodes, photodiodes, LEDs, infrared (IR) sensors, pump lasers, crystal oscillators and optical transceivers, the firm notes.

Nextreme demonstrated its cooling and thermal management product family at the SPIE Defense, Security, & Sensing (DSS 2012) exhibition in Baltimore (24-27 April).

The eTEC thin-film TEC product line will be available through Nextreme's worldwide strategic distribution and design partner Laird Technologies Inc, and through Mouser.com.

See related items:

Nextreme’s thin-film thermoelectric surpasses 60°C temperature differential of bulk thermoelectric

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