SUBJECT: M.S. Thesis Presentation
BY: Owen Sullivan
TIME: Friday, September 14, 2012, 9:00 a.m.
PLACE: Love Building, 109
TITLE: Embedded Thermoelectric Devices for On-Chip Cooling and Power Generation
COMMITTEE: Dr. Satish Kumar, Chair (ME)
Dr. Saibal Mukhopadhyay (ECE)
Dr. Yogendra Joshi (ME)


Thermoelectric (TE) devices can function as heat pumps or heat engines depending on the desired application. TE devices use electricity to provide cooling or heating as heat pumps and harvest electricity from waste heat as heat engines. Ultrathin thermoelectric cooling modules have been fabricated and integrated inside a prototype electronic package for hot spot thermal management. These TEC modules use superlattice thin-films and display improved cooling capabilities to control hot spot temperature. Superlattice thin-film based thermoelectrics are therefore a possible cooling solution for a microchip package as they can be incorporated within the package and provide a discreet form of embedded cooling for microchips in comparison to other technologies such as micro-fluidic channels. This work develops computational models to investigate the interaction of micro-sized TE modules with electronic packages and analyze both hot spot cooling and power generation by these modules. This work uses commercial computational fluid dynamics solver FLUENT and the electronic circuit simulator SPICE to develop models for the packaged TE devices and investigates operation of both single and array of TE devices integrated inside a micro-electronic package. The effect of electrical and thermal contact resistances, location of thermoelectric device in package and energy efficiency in thermoelectric device operation is explored for both steady-state and transient mode operation.