Micro-coolers fabricated as a component in an integrated circuit

James Glover, Ata Khalid, Alex Stephen, Geoff Dunn, David Cumming, Chris H. Oxley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The packing density and power capacity of integrated electronics is increasing resulting in higher thermal flux densities. Improved thermal management techniques are required and one approach is to include thermoelectric coolers as part of the integrated circuit. An analysis will be described showing that the supporting substrate will have a large influence on the cooling capacity of the thermoelectric cooler. In particular, for materials with a low ZT figure of merit (for example gallium arsenide (GaAs) based compounds) the substrate will have to be substantially thinned to obtain cooling, which may preclude the use of thermoelectric coolers, for example, as part of a GaAs based integrated circuit. Further, using experimental techniques to measure only the small positive cooling temperature difference (ΔT) between the anode (Th) and the cathode (Tc) contacts can be misinterpreted as cooling when in fact it is heating.

Original languageEnglish
Article number015005
JournalSemiconductor Science and Technology
Issue number1
Early online date28 Nov 2014
Publication statusPublished - 28 Dec 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 IOP Publishing Ltd.

Acknowledgments: The authors would like to thank the staff of the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre at the University of Glasgow for fabrication of the micro-coolers. Part of this work was funded by the UK Engineering & Physical Science research Council (EPSRC), grant reference numbers EP/H011862/1, EP/H012966/1 and EP/H012532/1.


  • AlGaAs
  • GaAs
  • III-V semiconductors
  • micro-cooler
  • superlattice
  • thermionic


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