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Glossary

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