Transient thermal imaging of Si/SiGe superlattice and bulk Si microrefrigerators


In this paper, we present a systematic study of the transient cooling in different Si/SiGe superlattices as well as bulk silicon microrefrigerators. Transient thermoreflectance imaging is used to obtain the temperature map of the device with sub micrometer spatial, 100ns temporal and 0.1C temperature resolution. It is shown that Peltier cooling dominates in the first 10-30 microseconds before Joule heating in the active and buffer layers reach the top surface. The transient characterization shows that at the optimum current for maximum steady-state cooling, the response of bulk silicon cooler is 25% faster than the 3 microns thick superlattice device and that of the 6 microns thick superlattice is 25% slower. However, it is possible to increase the cooling speed by a factor of two or three, down to 3.6 microseconds, by overdriving the current at the expense of the reduced steady-state cooling.

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Correspondence to Hélène Michel.

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Michel, H., Coppard, R., Kendig, D. et al. Transient thermal imaging of Si/SiGe superlattice and bulk Si microrefrigerators. MRS Online Proceedings Library 1218, 201 (2009).

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