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High-power-density spot cooling using bulk thermoelectrics


We demonstrate a three-dimensional (3D) bulk silicon microcooler, which has the advantages of high cooling power densities and is less dependent on thermoelectric element's thickness as compared with the same device with one-dimensional (1D) geometry. We measured a maximum cooling of 1.2 degreesC for a 40x40 mum(2) area bulk silicon microcooler device, which is equivalent to an estimated cooling power density of 580 W/cm(2). In this unique geometry, both current and heat spreading in 3D allows the maximum cooling temperature to exceed the conventional 1D thermoelectric model's theoretical limit 0.5 ZT(c)(2). (C) 2004 American Institute of Physics.

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