MUNICH, Germany With an innovative technology, Micropelt GmbH (Freiburg, Germany) helps to keep semiconductors, laser diodes and photonic sensors cool: The company offers thermoelectric coolers (TECs) on microchip basis, manufactured in MEMS technology.
Micropelt, a spin-off of Fraunhofer Institute for Physical Measurement Techniques and semiconductor vendor Infineon, has presented a TEC family offering an unusual high delta K (temperature difference) of over 60 Kelvin. With this high delta K, the company claims, the device opens possibilities for laser and photonic sensor manufacturers whose applications require a large bandwidth of thermal control.
The company claims the new TECs best conventional Peltier elements by a factor of 10 with respect to its cooling power. At the same time, the device is extremely small; with a surface of less than 1 square centimeter and a thickness of 1100 micron it can be bonded on top of most merchantable semiconductor chips.
With respect to the temperature dynamics, the device beats conventional Peltier elements by a factor of 20 and more, Micropelt claims; the temperature can be changed by up to 180 Kelvin per second.
TECs are based on the Peltier effect: By sending a current trough the element, it produces a temperature difference between its front- and backside. Thus, it can 'transport' heat away from a hot surface, for example, of a semiconductor or a laser diode. In laser diode applications, cooling is particularly important since the diode's radiation characteristics are controlled through its temperature, a company spokesperson explained.
Micropelt brings the Peltier effect to the microchip scale by manufacturing the TECs as a MEMS device and produce them in a wafer fab. The company runs production on its own MEMS fab, the spokesperson said.