RUSNANO to Finance Production of Thermoelectric Microcoolers

22 December 2009


The Supervisory Council of RUSNANO has approved financing for a project to expand production of thermoelectric micro-cooling systems based on nano-sized particles of bismuth telluride for opto-, micro-, and nanoelectronics.
The thermoelectric modules, operating on the Peltier effect, are designed to cool and support thermal regimes in various devices, such as lasers, high-power light emitting diodes, highly sensitive optoelectronic devices, high-performance integrated circuits and microprocessors and biomedical instruments. Miniature thermoelectric coolers, the area of expertise for project initiator RMT, are integrated into the packaging of the microelectronic unit. The closer the cooling element is to the heat source, the more effectively it cools.
Large-scale production of microcoolers creates a cluster effect, providing a host of directions for developing equipment enabled with ready-made cooling solutions. The project’s products will meet demand from manufacturers of optoelectronic devices, including night-vision equipment and orientation sensors.
Notable features in the new project are its use of thermoelectric material produced with a hot extrusion technique from nanopowdered bismuth telluride, full automation of production, and technology for thin-film heat transfer. The project will further miniaturize microcoolers by reducing the size of thermal elements to.2 mm as well as the density of the packaging, and raise cooling performance up to 40 watts/cm².With their outstanding reliability, the micromodules in this project exceed the best devices available in the global market today.
Thanks to highly competitive qualities of the products, RMT’s share in the global market is expected to grow fivefold and reach nine percent in 2015.
The project has a budget of 827 million rubles. RUSNANO will invest 150 million rubles and hold a 32 percent equity share in the project company. RMT will invest 166.86 million rubles in the project .
Other financing will come from bank credit of 360 million rubles and a coinvestor who will finance 150 million rubles and take an equity share in the project company..
The project will be implemented in two stages, 2010-2012 and 2013-2015. Sales in 2015 are forecasted at 1.093 billion rubles; up to 80 percent of project output is expected to be exported.

Sales of thermoelectric micro-modules in 2010 are estimated at $247 million; by 2015 sales are expected to grow to $437 million. Thermoelectric microcoolers are mainly sold to market segments in optoelectronics, laser instruments, microelectronics, scientific instrumentation technology, and biomedicine.. The microcoolers are primarily sold in the USA, Europe, Southeast Asia, and Japan. Russia purchases about five percent of the world’s thermoelectric micro-products.

RMT is one of the ten largest producers of thermoelectric microcooling elements in the world. Currently its share in the global market is 1.8 percent. In 2015 the company expects that share to rise to nine percent. RMT sells its products in Russia, the USA, Canada, Europe, Southeast Asia, Japan, and in other countries. The company’s clients include Amptek, Bruker AX, Thales Alenia Space, and Canberra Semiconductor. RMT is the only thermoelectric company in Russia to have received a license from the Russian Federal Space Agency for development and delivery of thermoelectric devices for the nation’s space program.