In this paper, the design of a thin film thermoelectric microcooler module is examined. The module consists of n-type bismuth telluride and p-type antimony telluride thermoelectric materials. The commercial software CFD-ACE+ is used to implement and analyse the model. A two-dimensional coupled electrical and thermal synthesis was performed. The influence of the thickness of the thermoelectric materials on the change in temperature has been investigated. The thickness of the thermoelements was varied between 0.5 and 20 μm. The device performance in terms of change in temperature with and without a load has been studied. The optimal thickness for the thermoelements was found to be 2μm. At 30mA, a temperature difference of 3K below ambient was obtained.
A microfluidic device, with a temperature control unit to study the behaviour of temperature sensitive hydrogel, has been designed, simulated and fabricated. The system consists of a PDMS (polydimethylsiloxane) microchannel sealed on a Pyrex substrate with microfabricated titanium electrodes for heating and sensing elements. A thermal insulating layer in-between the electrodes and the substrate was found to increase the heat transfer to the fluid and decrease the lateral heat propagation. The temperature profile and the heat distribution in the system were investigated using the commercial software package CFD-ACE+. The device was electrically and thermally characterised. Such a system, biocompatible and re-usable, could be a potential candidate for biomedical applications such as DNA amplification and protein synthesis.