Micropelt opens thin-film thermoelectric chip fab in Germany

July 4, 2011 – BUSINESS WIRE — Micropelt opened its automated, high-volume Halle/Saale, Germany thermoelectric chip manufacturing facility. The 400 m² (4,300sq.ft.) production facility has a customized clean room and fabs thermoelectric thin films on 6" silicon wafers, processing them into micro coolers, sensors and thermogenerators.

Micropelt invested about EUR15 million in the production ramp up. The company previously used a pilot production line at its Freiburg head offices.

Once the production tools pass qualification, the Halle/Saale location will produce 5-10 million parts in various device sizes. Micropelt cites the Halle/Saale area’s access to basic research institutes and production expertise as reasons for the site location. "Novel materials for higher efficiencies and higher operating temperatures" will easily be added to the production range as they are developed, noted Micropelt CEO Fritz Volkert.

The structured thin films on silicon provide new power densities, generating many watts of heat or Milliwatts of electrical power on 10 mm² (0.016 in²) thermoelectric chips. Micropelt’s patented scalable thin-film micro-structuring platform technology minimizes component size for energy harvesting, cooling or thermal cycling applications. The company aims to replace battery-powered wireless sensor networks (WSN) to monitor processes and production equipment, explained Burkhard Habbe, VP of Business Development at Micropelt. The company’s thermogenerators and thermoharvesters often "supply more energy than is drawn from battery packs used by WSNs," without adding life-cycle costs, added Wladimir Punt, VP Sales and Marketing.

Micropelt GmbH develops, produces, and markets thermoelectric elements for clean-tech micro energy harvesting, thermal sensing, cycling and cooling. Visit the website at http://www.micropelt.com

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