Sensing Devices for Electro-Thermal Components and Systems

Achievement date: 
2018
Outcome/accomplishment: 

Researchers demonstrated multiple, high‐resolution thermal and thermoelectric sensors in research supported by the Center for Power Optimization of Electro-Thermal Systems (POETS), an NSF-funded Engineering Research Center (ERC) based at the University of Illinois.

Impact/benefits: 

The understanding of temperature and heat flux within electro‐thermal systems developed in POETS requires high-resolution temperature sensing up to 600 degrees C. The sensing methods and models developed in this research assist in the understanding of various POETS systems. In addition to demonstrating the new sensors, the scientists also developed computer models to interface such sensors with systems.

Explanation/Background: 

Over the past decade, gallium nitride on silicon (GaN-on-Si) substrates have gained widespread use as a materials platform for high-power, extreme-temperature electronics. In their research, the scientists also showed they could manipulate electrical transport separately from thermal transport by leveraging the 2-dimensional electron gas in structures comprised of aluminum   gallium nitride (AlGaN) and GaN. Under a thermal gradient, the manipulation can be used for on-chip thermal sensing and energy harvesting within power electronics modules.