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LG Innotek Introduces Thermoelectric Semiconductors with Nano-polycrystalline Materials

2018. 06. 22.

LG Innotek Introduces Thermoelectric Semiconductors with Nano-polycrystalline Materials

Increase mechanical strength by 2.5 times and improve cooling efficiency by 30%


LG Innotek today announced that it had succeeded in its development of nano-polycrystalline thermoelectric semiconductors. The company will mass-produce the materials in the first half of next year.

The company held the “Thermoelectric Semiconductor Tech-forum” on the 20th, June at LG Science Park in Seoul and introduced this thermoelectric semiconductor to the industry’s experts.

The thermoelectric semiconductor is a device that can perform the cooling or heating functions by supplying electricity, and it can produce the electrical power by using the temperature gradient.

It uses the “Peltier effect”, which makes on one side hot and the other side cold when electricity runs through the semiconductor, as well as the “Seebeck effect”, which generates electric power when there is a temperature difference on both sides.

LG Innotek has developed its own nano-polycrystalline thermoelectric materials. The material was produced by implementing ultra-fine crystal structures in terms of nanometers, meaning one over a billion meters.

The nano-polycrystalline material has 2.5 times higher mechanical strength than single crystalline materials, which is an advantage in that it can be used for vehicles and ships that can be easily broken by vibrations.

Also, the nano-polycrystalline material employed independent module structure, which minimized heat resistance, gives cooling efficiency 30% higher than that of a single crystalline thermoelectric semiconductor module, lowering electric power consumption by as much as 30% during a cooling process at the same temperature.

The LG Innotek’s thermoelectric semiconductor has made the noise level to decrease 19dB as compared commercial small refrigerator with 29dB. In the respective view of volume with traditional compressor cooling system, the thermoelectric semiconductor makes the volume with down to 40%.

This technology can be applied to the telecommunication components as well. Optical part of the components that fail to maintain temperature level can have problems such as wavelength fluctuation and output decrease, which can deteriorate data transmission efficiency and affect communication performance. But thermoelectric semiconductor minimizes the data loss by maintaining temperature of the components at a constant level.

Another advantage is that, when the semiconductor is applied to vehicles and ships, the waste heat generated from their operation can be converted into electricity, which can reduce both the amount of required fuel and the harmful gas emission. For a diesel car as an example, if its fuel efficiency is 18km per liter, applying the thermoelectric semiconductor can improve the efficiency by 9~12% and up to 19.8km per liter. Also, it provides the benefit of lowering carbon dioxide emission from the ship, which can give the ship builders an edge in responding to the ‘Global Sulphur Cap 2020” set by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and expected to undergo an update and become stricter in 2020.

According to TechNavio, a market research company, the size of the global thermoelectric semiconductor market is expected to grow from last year’s 471.55 million USD to 626.73 million USD in 2020.

The company official said, “LG Innotek is now capable of providing a total solution that encompasses material, device and module development, mass-production, and quality management.


LG Innotek’s thermoelectric semiconductors


“Thermoelectric Semiconductor Tech-forum” hosted by the company