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These key thermoelectric terms are used frequently by our engineers at II-VI Marlow, and across our website. Reference this glossary whenever you come across an unfamiliar term.

  • ACR Test - Test to determine the resistance of a thermal electric cooler by powering it with alternating current
  • ALO - Ceramics made of aluminum oxide
  • Alloy - A melted mixture of two or more raw materials
  • ALN - Ceramics made of aluminum nitride
  • BeO - Ceramics made of beryllium oxide
  • Bismuth Telluride - The compound name for thermoelectric material
  • Cold Side - Typically, the top of the TEC, that gets cold as current is passed through the TEC
  • Cooler - A thermoelectric cooler
  • Couple - A pair of elements: one N-type and one P-type
  • Elements - P-type and N-type semiconductor materials cut to a specific size
  • Figure-of-Merit - Thermoelectric property which defines a material's heat pumping capability
  • GD&T - Geometric, Dimensions and Tolerance a symbolic language used on engineering drawings
  • Hot Side - Usually the bottom of the TEC that heats as current is passed through the TEC
  • Ingot - A cast alloy of thermoelectric material
  • Lead Wire - Connection from the TEC to the power supply
  • Metallization - The conductive pattern printed on the ceramics
  • Plating - Applying a metal solution onto a substrate or element
  • RGA - Returned Goods Authorization form required for all customer returns
  • SEM - Scanning Electron Microscope: Allows viewing of objects at very high magnifications
  • SPC - Statistical Process Control: A method of monitoring process performance and preventing defects
  • Substrate - Base material (bare ceramics or bare TE wafers)
  • Tab - A copper material which attaches to the ceramic and carries the current between the thermoelectric elements
  • TE Material - An alloy of materials that produce thermoelectric properties
  • TEC - Thermoelectric cooler (our primary technology)
  • TEG - Thermoelectric generator, which uses a temperature differential to generate power
  • TEM - Thermoelectric module (an alternate term for TEC)
  • Tinning - Applying solder over the copper or tabbed pattern
  • Wafer - A slice of an ingot
Looking for more information about working with thermoelectric materials? Download our Guide to Working with Thermoelectric Materials today!
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