Patents Assigned to Alphabet Energy, Inc.
  • Patent number: 9735022
    Abstract: An array of nanowires and method thereof. The array of nanowires includes a plurality of nanowires. The plurality of nanowires includes a plurality of first ends and a plurality of second ends respectively. For each of the plurality of nanowires, a corresponding first end selected from the plurality of first ends and a corresponding second end selected from the plurality of second ends are separated by a distance of at least 200 ?m. All nanowires of the plurality of nanowires are substantially parallel to each other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 11, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 15, 2017
    Assignee: ALPHABET ENERGY, INC.
    Inventors: Mingqiang Yi, Matthew L. Scullin, Gabriel Matus, Dawn L. Hilken, Chii Guang Lee, Sylvain Muckenhirn
  • Patent number: 9691849
    Abstract: Under one aspect, a plurality of silicon nanostructures is provided. Each of the silicon nanostructures includes a length and a cross-section, the cross-section being substantially constant along the length, the length being at least 100 microns. Under another aspect, a method of making nanostructures is provided that includes providing a silicon wafer including a thickness and first and second surfaces separated from one another by the thickness; forming a patterned layer of metal on the first surface of the silicon wafer; generating a current through the thickness of the silicon wafer, the metal oxidizing the silicon wafer in a region beneath the patterned layer of the metal; and exposing the silicon wafer to an etchant in the presence of the current, the etchant removing the oxidized region of the silicon wafer so as to define a plurality of nanostructures. Methods of transferring nanowires also are provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 9, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 27, 2017
    Assignee: Alphabet Energy, Inc.
    Inventors: Jeffrey M. Weisse, John P. Reifenberg, Lindsay M. Miller, Matthew L. Scullin
  • Patent number: 9608188
    Abstract: A method includes preparing a thermoelectric material including p-type or n-type material and first and second caps including transition metal(s). A powder precursor of the first cap can be loaded into a sintering die, punches assembled thereto, and a pre-load applied to form a first pre-pressed structure including a first flat surface. A punch can be removed, a powder precursor of the p-type or n-type material loaded onto that surface, the punch assembled to the die, and a second pre-load applied to form a second pre-pressed structure including a second substantially flat surface. The punch can be removed, a powder precursor of the second cap loaded onto that surface, the first punch assembled to the die, and a third pre-load applied to form a third pre-pressed structure. The third pre-pressed structure can be sintered to form the thermoelectric material; the first or second cap can be coupled to an electrical connector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 8, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 28, 2017
    Assignee: Alphabet Energy, Inc.
    Inventors: John Reifenberg, Lindsay Miller, Matthew L. Scullin, Adam Lorimer, Sravan Kumar R. Sura, Sasi Bhushan Beera, Douglas Crane
  • Patent number: 9514931
    Abstract: A matrix with at least one embedded array of nanowires and method thereof. The matrix includes nanowires and one or more fill materials located between the nanowires. Each of the nanowires including a first end and a second end. The nanowires are substantially parallel to each other and are fixed in position relative to each other by the one or more fill materials. Each of the one or more fill materials is associated with a thermal conductivity less than 50 Watts per meter per degree Kelvin. And, the matrix is associated with at least a sublimation temperature and a melting temperature, the sublimation temperature and the melting temperature each being above 350° C.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 10, 2014
    Date of Patent: December 6, 2016
    Assignee: Alphabet Energy, Inc.
    Inventors: Mingqiang Yi, Gabriel A. Matus, Matthew L. Scullin, Chii Guang Lee, Sylvain Muckenhirn
  • Patent number: 9318682
    Abstract: Apparatus and method for generating electricity. The apparatus includes one or more first components configured to extract heat from at least a first fluid flow at a first temperature to one or more devices configured to convert thermal energy to electric energy. The first fluid flow is in a first direction. Additionally, the apparatus includes one or more second components configured to transfer heat from the one or more devices to at least a second fluid flow at a second temperature. The second temperature is lower than the first temperature, and the second fluid flow is in a second direction. Each first part of the first fluid flow corresponds to a first shortest distance to the one or more devices, and the first shortest distance is less than half the square root of the total free flow area for a corresponding first cross-section of the first fluid flow.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 19, 2016
    Assignee: Alphabet Energy, Inc
    Inventors: Adam Lorimer, Matthew L. Scullin, Sravan Kumar R. Sura, Christopher Hannemann
  • Patent number: 9257627
    Abstract: Method for assembling thermoelectric unicouples is provided and applied with silicon-based nanostructure thermoelectric legs. The method includes preparing and disposing both n-type and p-type thermoelectric material blocks in alternative columns on a first shunt material. The method includes a sequence of cutting processes to resize the thermoelectric material blocks to form multiple singulated unicouples each having an n-type thermoelectric leg and a p-type thermoelectric leg bonded to a section of the first shunt material. Additionally, the method includes re-disposing these singulated unicouples in a serial daisy chain configuration with a predetermined pitch distance and bonding a second shunt material on top. The method further includes performing additional cutting processes to form one or more daisy chains of thermoelectric unicouples. The first shunt material is coupled to a cold-side heat sink and the second shunt material is coupled to a hot-side heat sink.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 22, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 9, 2016
    Assignee: Alphabet Energy, Inc.
    Inventors: Mario Aguirre, Matthew L. Scullin
  • Patent number: 9242855
    Abstract: Structure including nano-ribbons and method thereof. The structure include multiple nano-ribbons. Each of the multiple nano-ribbons corresponds to a first end and a second end, and the first end and the second end are separated by a first distance of at least 100 ?m. Each of the multiple nano-ribbons corresponds to a cross-sectional area associated with a ribbon thickness, and the ribbon thickness ranges from 5 nm to 500 nm. Each of the multiple nano-ribbons is separated from at least another nano-ribbon selected from the multiple nano-ribbons by a second distance ranging from 5 nm to 500 nm.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 16, 2014
    Date of Patent: January 26, 2016
    Assignee: Alphabet Energy, Inc.
    Inventors: Gabriel A. Matus, Matthew L. Scullin
  • Patent number: 9240328
    Abstract: An array of nanowires and method thereof. The array of nanowires includes a plurality of nanowires. The plurality of nanowires includes a plurality of first ends and a plurality of second ends respectively. For each of the plurality of nanowires, a corresponding first end selected from the plurality of first ends and a corresponding second end selected from the plurality of second ends are separated by a distance of at least 200 ?m. All nanowires of the plurality of nanowires are substantially parallel to each other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 17, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 19, 2016
    Assignee: Alphabet Energy, Inc.
    Inventors: Mingqiang Yi, Matthew L. Scullin, Gabriel Alejandro Matus, Dawn L. Hilken, Chii Guang Lee, Sylvain Muckenhirn
  • Patent number: 9203011
    Abstract: Method for assembling thermoelectric unicouples is provided and applied with silicon-based nanostructure thermoelectric legs. The method includes preparing and disposing both n-type and p-type thermoelectric material blocks in alternative columns on a first shunt material. The method includes a sequence of cutting processes to resize the thermoelectric material blocks to form multiple singulated unicouples each having an n-type thermoelectric leg and a p-type thermoelectric leg bonded to a section of the first shunt material. Additionally, the method includes re-disposing these singulated unicouples in a serial daisy chain configuration with a predetermined pitch distance and bonding a second shunt material on top. The method further includes performing additional cutting processes to form one or more daisy chains of thermoelectric unicouples. The first shunt material is coupled to a cold-side heat sink and the second shunt material is coupled to a hot-side heat sink.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 22, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 1, 2015
    Assignee: Alphabet Energy, Inc.
    Inventors: Mario Aguirre, Matthew L. Scullin
  • Patent number: 9082930
    Abstract: Nanostructured thermoelectric elements are made from planar uniwafer processing methods. The method includes producing either n-type or p-type thermoelectric uniwafer structure bearing nanostructure material embedded in a low thermal conductivity fill material. The method further includes partially cutting the uniwafer structure to form a plurality of chip structures separated by trenches. The method includes filling the trenches with the fill material to surround the nanostructure material within each chip structure. The method further includes additionally planar processing to form both frontend and backend conductive contact layers respectively coupled to frontend regions and backend regions of the chip structures. Additionally, the modified thermoelectric uniwafer structure is cut to turn the chip structures to bulk-sized nanostructured thermoelectric legs, each bulk-sized nanostructured thermoelectric leg being wrapped around by the fill material and ready for assembling thermoelectric modules.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 2013
    Date of Patent: July 14, 2015
    Assignee: Alphabet Energy, Inc.
    Inventors: Barbara Wacker, Mario Aguirre
  • Patent number: 9065017
    Abstract: A method includes preparing a thermoelectric material including p-type or n-type material and first and second caps including transition metal(s). A powder precursor of the first cap can be loaded into a sintering die, punches assembled thereto, and a pre-load applied to form a first pre-pressed structure including a first flat surface. A punch can be removed, a powder precursor of the p-type or n-type material loaded onto that surface, the punch assembled to the die, and a second pre-load applied to form a second pre-pressed structure including a second substantially flat surface. The punch can be removed, a powder precursor of the second cap loaded onto that surface, the first punch assembled to the die, and a third pre-load applied to form a third pre-pressed structure. The third pre-pressed structure can be sintered to form the thermoelectric material; the first or second cap can be coupled to an electrical connector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 23, 2015
    Assignee: Alphabet Energy, Inc.
    Inventors: John Reifenberg, Lindsay Miller, Matthew L. Scullin, Adam Lorimer, Sravan Kumar R. Sura, Sasi Bhushan Beera, Douglas Crane
  • Patent number: 9051175
    Abstract: Structure including nano-ribbons and method thereof. The structure include multiple nano-ribbons. Each of the multiple nano-ribbons corresponds to a first end and a second end, and the first end and the second end are separated by a first distance of at least 100 ?m. Each of the multiple nano-ribbons corresponds to a cross-sectional area associated with a ribbon thickness, and the ribbon thickness ranges from 5 nm to 500 nm. Each of the multiple nano-ribbons is separated from at least another nano-ribbon selected from the multiple nano-ribbons by a second distance ranging from 5 nm to 500 nm.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 5, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 9, 2015
    Assignee: Alphabet Energy, Inc.
    Inventors: Gabriel A. Matus, Matthew L. Scullin
  • Publication number: 20140193982
    Abstract: A matrix with at least one embedded array of nanowires and method thereof. The matrix includes nanowires and one or more fill materials located between the nanowires. Each of the nanowires including a first end and a second end. The nanowires are substantially parallel to each other and are fixed in position relative to each other by the one or more fill materials. Each of the one or more fill materials is associated with a thermal conductivity less than 50 Watts per meter per degree Kelvin. And, the matrix is associated with at least a sublimation temperature and a melting temperature, the sublimation temperature and the melting temperature each being above 350° C.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 10, 2014
    Publication date: July 10, 2014
    Applicant: Alphabet Energy, Inc.
    Inventors: Mingqiang Yi, Gabriel A. Matus, Matthew L. Scullin, Chii Guang Lee, Sylvain Muckenhirn
  • Publication number: 20140182644
    Abstract: Thermoelectric device with a multi-leg package and method thereof. The thermoelectric device includes a first ceramic base structure including a first surface and a second surface, and a first plurality of pads including one or more first materials thermally and electrically conductive. The first plurality of pads are attached to the first surface. Additionally, the thermoelectric device includes a second plurality of pads including the one or more first materials. The second plurality of pads are attached to the second surface and arranged in a mirror image with the first plurality of pads. Moreover, the thermoelectric device includes a plurality of thermoelectric legs attached to the first plurality of pads respectively. Each pad of the first plurality of pads is attached to at least two first thermoelectric legs of the plurality of thermoelectric legs.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 14, 2013
    Publication date: July 3, 2014
    Applicant: Alphabet Energy, Inc.
    Inventors: Mario Aguirre, Adam Lorimer, Sasi Bhushan Beera, Sravan Kumar Sura, Matthew L. Scullin, Sylvain Muckenhirn, Douglas Crane
  • Patent number: 8736011
    Abstract: A matrix with at least one embedded array of nanowires and method thereof. The matrix includes nanowires and one or more fill materials located between the nanowires. Each of the nanowires including a first end and a second end. The nanowires are substantially parallel to each other and are fixed in position relative to each other by the one or more fill materials. Each of the one or more fill materials is associated with a thermal conductivity less than 50 Watts per meter per degree Kelvin. And, the matrix is associated with at least a sublimation temperature and a melting temperature, the sublimation temperature and the melting temperature each being above 350° C.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 1, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 27, 2014
    Assignee: Alphabet Energy, Inc.
    Inventors: Mingqiang Yi, Gabriel A. Matus, Matthew L. Scullin, Chii Guang Lee, Sylvain Muckenhirn
  • Publication number: 20140116491
    Abstract: Thermoelectric solid material and method thereof. The thermoelectric solid material includes a plurality of nanowires. Each nanowire of the plurality of nanowires corresponds to an aspect ratio (e.g., a ratio of a length of a nanowire to a diameter of the nanowire) equal to or larger than 10, and each nanowire of the plurality of nanowires is chemically bonded to one or more other nanowires at at least two locations of the each nanowire.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 24, 2013
    Publication date: May 1, 2014
    Applicant: Alphabet Energy, Inc.
    Inventors: John Reifenberg, Saniya LeBlanc, Matthew L. Scullin
  • Publication number: 20140024163
    Abstract: Method for assembling thermoelectric unicouples is provided and applied with silicon-based nanostructure thermoelectric legs. The method includes preparing and disposing both n-type and p-type thermoelectric material blocks in alternative columns on a first shunt material. The method includes a sequence of cutting processes to resize the thermoelectric material blocks to form multiple cingulated unicouples each having an n-type thermoelectric leg and a p-type thermoelectric leg bonded to a section of the first shunt material. Additionally, the method includes re-disposing these cingulated unicouples in a serial daisy chain configuration with a predetermined pitch distance and bonding a second shunt material on top. The method further includes performing additional cutting processes to form one or more parallel series of thermoelectric unicouples in daisy chain configuration. The first shunt material is coupled to a cold-side heat sink and the second shunt material is coupled to a hot-side heat sink.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 22, 2013
    Publication date: January 23, 2014
    Applicant: Alphabet Energy, Inc.
    Inventors: Mario Aguirre, Matthew L. Scullin
  • Publication number: 20130186445
    Abstract: Apparatus and method for generating electricity. The apparatus includes one or more first components configured to extract heat from at least a first fluid flow at a first temperature to one or more devices configured to convert thermal energy to electric energy. The first fluid flow is in a first direction. Additionally, the apparatus includes one or more second components configured to transfer heat from the one or more devices to at least a second fluid flow at a second temperature. The second temperature is lower than the first temperature, and the second fluid flow is in a second direction. Each first part of the first fluid flow corresponds to a first shortest distance to the one or more devices, and the first shortest distance is less than half the square root of the total free flow area for a corresponding first cross-section of the first fluid flow.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 24, 2013
    Publication date: July 25, 2013
    Applicant: Alphabet Energy, Inc.
    Inventor: Alphabet Energy, Inc.
  • Publication number: 20120319082
    Abstract: A matrix with at least one embedded array of nanowires and method thereof. The matrix includes nanowires and one or more fill materials located between the nanowires. Each of the nanowires including a first end and a second end. The nanowires are substantially parallel to each other and are fixed in position relative to each other by the one or more fill materials. Each of the one or more fill materials is associated with a thermal conductivity less than 50 Watts per meter per degree Kelvin. And, the matrix is associated with at least a sublimation temperature and a melting temperature, the sublimation temperature and the melting temperature each being above 350° C.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 1, 2011
    Publication date: December 20, 2012
    Applicant: Alphabet Energy, Inc.
    Inventors: Mingqiang Yi, Gabriel A. Matus, Matthew L. Scullin, Chii Guang Lee, Sylvain Muckenhirn
  • Publication number: 20120295074
    Abstract: An array of nanowires and method thereof. The array of nanowires includes a plurality of nanowires. The plurality of nanowires includes a plurality of first ends and a plurality of second ends respectively. For each of the plurality of nanowires, a corresponding first end selected from the plurality of first ends and a corresponding second end selected from the plurality of second ends are separated by a distance of at least 200 ?m. All nanowires of the plurality of nanowires are substantially parallel to each other.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 17, 2011
    Publication date: November 22, 2012
    Applicant: Alphabet Energy, Inc.
    Inventors: Mingqiang Yi, Matthew L. Scullin, Gabriel Alejandro Matus, Dawn L. Hilken, Chii Guang Lee, Sylvain Muckenhirn