Thermoelectric Modules for Charge-Coupled Devices

Laird Technologies published an application note titled Thermoelectric Modules for Charge-Coupled Devices. The application note describes the reason Thermoelectric Modules (TEMs) are the only effective thermal management solution for Charge-Coupled Devices (CCDs) used in astronomy, night vision, high-speed, medical, and quality control camera applications. The application note is the newest in a series describing the role of Thermal Management in numerous market segments.

TEMs comply with the excessively tight space constraints associated with CCDs operating in vacuum environments by cooling the camera detector heads. They also dissipate the thermally generated charge created as a by-product by the detector head when it collects an image. Cooling the detector head reduces or eliminates thermal noise and allows for longer exposure times, resulting in an increased resolution of the image.

One major concern with CCD equipment operating in vacuum environments is the issue of outgassing. Outgassing occurs when the materials used in vacuum environments release light-weight molecules that collect onto the optical equipment, resulting in an unclean and unclear surface collecting the image. TEMs contain no evaporatable materials capable of releasing these light-weight molecules due to their solid-state construction, therefore eliminating the issue of outgassing.

Today’s CCD vacuum environments create extreme operating conditions with rugged thermal solution demands. TEMs meet these requirements and provide precise temperature control via cooling and heating in a variety of modular platforms. Their advanced capabilities are aided by new material technologies, thinner profiles, and automated assembly. Combining these special benefits make TEMs the only effective solution for CCD imaging applications by offering greater performance, higher reliability, and low cost of ownership.

More information: Laird Technologies