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Title: Enhancement of thermionic cooling using Monte Carlo simulation
Author: Stephen, Alexander
ISNI:       0000 0004 5361 3329
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2014
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Advances in the field of semiconductor physics have allowed for rapid development of new, more powerful devices. The new fabrication techniques allow for reductions in device geometry, increasing the possible wafer packing density. The increased output power comes with the price of excessive heat generation, the removal of which proves problematic at such scales for conventional cooling systems. Consequently, there is a rising demand for new cooling systems, preferably those that do not add large amount of additional bulk to the system. One promising system is the thermoelectric (TE) cooler which is small enough to be integrated onto the device wafer. Unlike more traditional gas and liquid coolers, TE coolers do not require moving parts or external liquid reservoirs, relying only on the flow of electrons to transport heat energy away from the device. Although TE cooling provides a neat solution for the extraction of heat from micron scale devices, it can normally only produce small amounts of cooling of 1-2 Kelvin, limiting its application to low power devices. This research aimed to find ways to enhance the performance of the TE cooler using detailed simulation analysis. For this, a self consistent, semi-classical, ensemble Monte Carlo model was designed to investigate the operation of the TE cooler at a higher level than would be possible with experimental measurements alone. As part of its development, the model was validated on a variety of devices including a Gunn diode and two micro-cooler designs from the literature, one which had been previously simulated and another which had been experimentally analysed. When applied to the TE cooler of focus, novel operational data was obtained and signification improvements in cooling power were found with only minor alterations to the device structure and without need for an increase in volume.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Thermoelectric cooling ; Monte Carlo method