Improved thermoelectric cooling based on the Thomson effect

G. Jeffrey Snyder, Raghav Khanna, Eric S. Toberer, Nicholas A. Heinz, Wolfgang Seifert

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


Traditional thermoelectric cooling relies on the Peltier effect which produces a temperature drop limited by the figure of merit, zT. This cooling limit is not required from classical thermodynamics but can be traced to problems of thermoelectric compatibility. Alternatively, if a thermoelectric cooler can be designed to achieve full thermoelectric compatibility, lower temperature can be achieved even if the zT is low. In such a device the Thomson effect plays an important role. We present the theoretical concept of a "Thomson cooler," for cryogenic cooling which is designed to maintain thermoelectric compatibility and we derive the requirements for the Seebeck coefficient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTri-Technology Device Refrigeration (TTDR)
EditorsIngo N. Ruhlich, Bjorn F. Andresen, Joseph P. Heremans, Mansoor Sheik-Bahae, Richard I. Epstein, Markus P. Hehlen
ISBN (Electronic)9781510600621
StatePublished - 2016
EventTri-Technology Device Refrigeration (TTDR) - Baltimore, United States
Duration: Apr 19 2016Apr 20 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


OtherTri-Technology Device Refrigeration (TTDR)
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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