• Transient FE simulations of an integrated TEC-pulsed load system are conducted.
• Pulsed load-induced stress fluctuations restrict the reliability of the TEC.
• Effects of pulsed amplitudes and periods on the thermal stress are investigated.
• The transient supercooling effect can reduce peak temperature and thermal stress.
Pulsed thermal load
Finite element model
A three-dimensional, nonlinear, and dynamic finite element model coupling the thermal, electrical, and me chanical fields was established to investigate transient thermal stress of the integrated thermoelectric cooler (TEC) under the pulsed thermal load. The model considered the temperature-dependent material properties. Results showed that pulsed thermal loading reduced the cooling performance of the TEC and caused the dra matic variations of temperature and thermal stress in the device. With a pulse load of 30 W, the chip temperature fluctuation amplitude was about 170 °C, and the fluctuation amplitude of the thermal stress at the contact interface between the chip and TEC reached 686 MPa. The fluctuations amplitudes increased with pulse am plitude and time. Using the TEC′s transient supercooling characteristics to relieve temperature and thermal stress peaks appeared effective, which could be utilized to improve the robustness and functionality of TEC for the electronics cooling.