The December issue of designing lighting (dl) magazine has an interesting story about recent research into running infrared (IR) LEDs in reverse polarity to create active cooling. One caveat for this approach to work is that the object to be cooled has to be incredibly close to the IR LED — less than 1 wavelength’s distance of the IR light. The technique is called nanophotonic cooling.
This technology may enable future devices at the nanometer scale for cooling. It could lead to new solid-state cooling devices that are as good as current solid-state refrigeration devices based on thermoelectrics (conversion of heat to electricity and vice versa). It has the potential to cool future microelectronics. This technology is compatible with current ways to manufacture technologies that control, detect, and create light.
Read the full designing lighting story here.