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Chemical vapor deposition techniques and related methods for manufacturing microminiature thermionic converters

United States Patent

June 25, 2002
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Sandia National Laboratories - Visit the Intellectual Property Management and Licensing Website
Methods of manufacturing microminiature thermionic converters (MTCs) having high energy-conversion efficiencies and variable operating temperatures using MEMS manufacturing techniques including chemical vapor deposition. The MTCs made using the methods of the invention incorporate cathode to anode spacing of about 1 micron or less and use cathode and anode materials having work functions ranging from about 1 eV to about 3 eV. The MTCs also exhibit maximum efficiencies of just under 30%, and thousands of the devices can be fabricated at modest costs.
King; Donald B. (Albuquerque, NM), Sadwick; Laurence P. (Salt Lake City, UT), Wernsman; Bernard R. (Clairton, PA)
Sandia Corporation (Albuquerque, NM)
09/ 895,372
June 28, 2001
This invention was made with support from the United States Government under Contract DE-AC04-96AL85000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in this invention.