History of the Institute of Thermoelectricity

Since 1950s the team of the Institute of Thermoelectricity started to emerge under scientific influence of Physics-Technical Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences of the USSR (Leningrad) specialists. It is this Institute where system researches on thermoelectricity based on semiconductors application began.

Semiconductor thermoelectricity became more and more urgent. In 1954 Institute of Semiconductors, Russian Academy of Sciences of the USSR was founded and headed by academician A. Ioffe for further development in thermoelectricity. Bases of theory of thermocouple semiconductor energy converters, material science for such thermoelectric structures, theory and technology of thermoelectric generators and cooling equipment were established. Institute of Semiconductors made significant and efficient progress in development of thermoelectricity laying down the foundations of its broad practical applications. However in 1971 Institute of Semiconductors was closed down. It was a great loss for Thermoelectric Academy of Sciences.

 Meanwhile works on thermoelectricity developed incessantly at the Chernivtsi University. Picking up the baton of fundamental research on thermoelectricity the Problem Laboratory was founded at the Chernivtsi University in 1968.

In 1973 Thermoelectricity Department was founded at the Chernivtsi National University promoting further development of works in this direction. Series of new thermoelements types different from thermocouples which were patented in such leading world countries as USA, Japan, France and England were found at the Department. These inventions provided a stimulus for development of novel thermoelectric practical applications, defence and space engineering in the first place.

To realize new opportunities of thermoelectricity a Research and Design Office PHONON was founded in 1980. About 250 samples of thermoelectric equipment were designed there. Number of employees at Research and Design Office PHONON increased to 1000 people. State-of-the-art resource base was established and high-skilled specialists who received experience in device production fitting the requirements of special engineering were trained.

This organization became the leading one in thermoelectricity in the country. Activity of Research and Design Office PHONON promoted thermoelectricity development at such Ukrainian enterprises as “KVARTS” and “GIRIKOND” plants, associations “ARSENAL”, “TERMOPRYLAD” and others. Thermoelectricity center of gravity moved to Ukraine.

Research and Design Office PHONON developments completely corresponded to the world level and even were above it in some directions. However it was clear that theoretical achievements obtained in 70s would be settled step-by-step. Further progress in thermoelectricity required formulation of new fundamental researches. Necessity of academic science restoration on thermoelectricity by means of research institute had matured.

In consequence of sovereignty proclamation in Ukraine such Institute was founded.


Council of Ministers of the Ukrainian SSR provided:

«Institute of Thermoelectricity with research design office and pilot-scale production with two subordinations – Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and Ministry of Higher and Special High Education of Ukraine – should be founded in Chernivtsi city».