Benchmarking of a novel contactless characterisation method for micro thermoelectric modules
Significant challenges exist in the thermal control of Photonics Integrated Circuits (PICs) for use in optical communications. Increasing component density coupled with greater functionality is leading to higher device-level heat fluxes, stretching the capabilities of conventional cooling methods using thermoelectric modules (TEMs). A tailored thermal control solution incorporating micro thermoelectric modules (μTEMs) to individually address hotspots within PICs could provide an energy efficient alternative to existing control methods. Performance characterisation is required to establish the suitability of commercially-available μTEMs for the operating conditions in current and next generation PICs. The objective of this paper is to outline a novel method for the characterisation of thermoelectric modules (TEMs), which utilises infra-red (IR) heat transfer and temperature measurement to obviate the need for mechanical stress on the upper surface of low compression tolerance (~0.5N) μTEMs. The method is benchmarked using a commercially-available macro scale TEM, comparing experimental data to the manufacturers performance data sheet.