Phononic Devices Raises $10M for Thermoelectric Materials

Phononic Devices, Inc., a company that aims to commercialize thermoelectric materials for capturing waste heat, has closed on a $10 million Series B financing led by existing investors Venrock and Oak Investment Partners.

Having completed technology proof-of-concept milestones on a $2 million Series A financing, Phononic Devices said it will utilize Series B funds to commercialize high efficiency thermoelectric modules, expand its team of engineers, and add rapid prototype capacity to leverage the Company’s proprietary materials and semiconductor processes.

Phononic Devices’ approach is designed to significantly increase the efficiency of Thermoelectric Coolers (TECs) that use electricity to remove heat for cooling and refrigeration, and conversely, Thermoelectric Generators (TEGs) that harvest low grade waste heat for power generation.

“With the help of ARPA-E we’ve proven that our advanced semiconductor materials and engineering approach are ideal for high efficiency cooling and refrigeration and low grade waste heat recovery for power generation. Our goal now is to accelerate the go-to-market roll out for our manufacturing-friendly modules,” said Dr. Anthony Atti, President and CEO of Phononic Devices.

Dr. Arun Majumdar, Director of the Department of Energy’s ARPA-E., said, “When ARPA-E first funded Phononic Devices their thermoelectric technology was still in the idea stage, risky and unproven, but worthwhile given the potential breakthrough in energy efficiency. Why? In the U.S., more than 50% of our primary energy is lost as waste heat. ARPA-E funding targeted the research needed to translate science into an innovative thermoelectric technology with real market potential now realized through private sector investment.”

Phononic Devices will be an exhibitor at the ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit from February 28 to March 1, 2011 in Washington, DC.

Phononic Devices, headquartered on Centennial Campus in Raleigh, North Carolina, is commercializing thermoelectric materials and device concepts exclusively licensed from the University of Oklahoma designed to dramatically improve the efficiency of heat-to-electric energy conversion, and conversely, efficient use of electricity for cooling and refrigeration.

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