Room-temperature semiconductor heterostructure refrigeration

Chao, K. A.; Larsson, Magnus; Mal'shukov, A. G.
July 2005
Applied Physics Letters;7/11/2005, Vol. 87 Issue 2, p022103
Academic Journal
With the proper design of semiconductor tunneling barrier structures, we can inject low-energy electrons via resonant tunneling, and take out high-energy electrons via a thermionic process. This is the operation principle of our semiconductor heterostructure refrigerator (SHR) without the need of applying a temperature gradient across the device. Even for the bad thermoelectric material AlGaAs, our calculation shows that at room temperature, the SHR can easily lower the temperature by 5–7 K. Such devices can be fabricated with the present semiconductor technology. Besides its use as a kitchen refrigerator, the SHR can efficiently cool microelectronic devices.


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