ENGINEERING

Keeping Chips Cool

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Science  20 Feb 2009:
Vol. 323, Issue 5917, pp. 985
DOI: 10.1126/science.323.5917.985b

The heat that is generated by silicon chips in the integrated circuits at the heart of modern electronic devices must be efficiently removed, because the performance of field-effect transistors degrades at higher temperatures. One approach for providing active cooling next to a chip is to use thermoelectric materials, which effectively transport heat via current flow. Chowdhury et al. fabricated a material with a high coefficient of thermoelectric performance and sandwiched it between the chip and a thermal sink layer. Specifically, the thermoelectric material comprised superlattices of p-type Bi2Te3/Sb2Te3 and n-type Bi2Te3/Bi2Te2.83Se0.17 grown on GaAs substrates by metal-organic chemical vapor deposition. The assembled devices could cool a targeted region on a silicon chip with a high heat flux (1300 W/cm2) by 15°C. — PDS

Nat. Nanotechnol. 4, 10.1038/NNANO.2008.417 (2009).

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