Manufacuring Thermionic Power Chips (1 Viewer)

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)


I'm new to this board, but I'd like to get some verification on an idea I'm working on.

In 2001, Eneco, a company owned and operated by Professors at MIT, delivered their "Power Chip", a semiconductor structure that delivers to the solid state realm the powers of a vacuum tube thermal diode.

However, their packaging technique has limited their ability to market the device. In the following 5 years, they still have not managed to make progress in this field.

I believe I may have found a solution to their manufacturing trouble, but I need verification from outside sources.

My idea is fairly basic. I want to rotate the diode interconnect assembly 90 degrees to bring it parallel to the substrate. This should make the process much easier to develop. Right now the device requires a laminating technique where the junctions are perpendicular to the substrate, which is very difficult to manufacture on such as small scale. I've included a couple pictures of broken open TECs (which use a perpendicular diode array manufacturing technique) as well as some lego designs of the new arrangement for visualization purposes. Please note that the final device would operate perpendicular to the heat source.

Please check out the images at

Thank you for your time.


So have you contacted the professors at MIT about this? Seems a much more constructive approach than posting here.
Several times, actually.

I leave a few messages, but still haven't recieved a response.


So why did you post here? Don't get me wrong, you are certainly welcome to post here in the PF. But if you have a fundamental improvement that can un-stick an important scientific endeavor, concentrate on the people who you can benifit the most, IMO.
Well, I'm trying, but I don't want to come across as foolish. Maybe I'm overlooking something relatively simple that puts a kibosh on the whole idea...

So I figured I'd bounce the idea off the internet while I was trying to get through to MIT.


Fair enough. But keep in mind that in the general case, when you see something that is important and helpful in a potentially money-making thing with scientists, your best option is to protect your intellectual property contribution to their effort, and then approach the scientists in a civil and timely way. You and they will gain no economic or scientific benefit from information posted first on the PF. But if your contribution to their work is valid and you protect it well and offer it to them in a constructive way, good things can follow.
I'm not really worried about someone stealing the idea.

MIT has 48 registered patents concerning this diode, I'm just proposing a different arrangement.

To be honest, I'd rather not be much involved with it at all, but I think I see something so I feel obligated to try to share it.


Are they applying the electrical field to the substraights directly? From the pictures I kinda think they are (and the word substraight implies it). This eliminates the need for interconnect (your yellow blocks) altogether and explains the perpendicular arrangement, no?

Also, are you sure small scale is the manufacturing issue? Those little blocks look 0201 size-ish. You'll find this size component in an iPod for example. Maybe the small size reduces the ability to deal with heat, and therefore power, which is not so much an interconnect issue per se.
From what I can see, the interconnect for the diode junction is where thermal evolution takes place. The substates are just an energy transfer medium (non-electrical) to even out the absorbtion of energy over the surface area.

You can't eliminate the interconnects. You'd remove the electrical path. Their basic packaging designs leave the interconnects in." [Broken]
Last edited by a moderator:

The Physics Forums Way

We Value Quality
• Topics based on mainstream science
• Proper English grammar and spelling
We Value Civility
• Positive and compassionate attitudes
• Patience while debating
We Value Productivity
• Disciplined to remain on-topic
• Recognition of own weaknesses
• Solo and co-op problem solving