TEC Microsystems - Miniature Thermoelectric Coolers and Sub-Assemblies

DX4090 Z-METER - Intro

Z-Meter DX4090 is the measuring device for thermoelectric coolers express analysis. It directly measures three TEC key parameters: AC Resistance (ACR), Figure-of-Merit (Z) and Time Constant. The combination of these three parameters gives a clean picture of TEC current condition, performance and quality level.

DX4090 device has two measurement interfaces - an internal chamber (works as a passive thermostat) with connectors and an external interface with clips. DX4090 has also a built-in temperature sensor for accurate TEC ACR calculations and a heating element for TEC quick polarity. DX4090 is recommended for regular express quality control of small and mid-size TEC batches, R&D analysis and TEC integrating/assembly process control and optimization.

  DX4090 Z-Meter Key Features

How does it work

Z-Meter DX4090 uses the Harman method in the measuring process. The setup is simple. You open the cover, place TEC inside, fix TEC terminal wires in Z-Meter clips and run the measurement process in Z-Meter software. TEC measurement process usually takes 20 to 180sec depending on measuring process parameters and TEC type. You may use default settings or a precise mode with additional corrections included. The precise mode requires TEC construction parameters (detailed geometry and wires) to be configured in the software.

Large thermoelectric coolers that don't fit under the Z-Meter cover can be measured using the external clips (4-wires Kelvin clips) provided with DX4090 Z-Meter by default. The same clips are necessary if you want to measure the parameters of TEC integrated into some package/assembly.

- Requires connection to PC

- USB Mini PC Connection Interface

- Windows 7 or later

  DX4090 Requirements

Measuring Process notes

Z-Meter DX4090 uses  Harman method in measuring process.  The results are precise and accurate for the single-stage thermoelectric coolers, once such TECs are fully symmetrical.  Z-Meter can also calculate dTmax precisely for a single-stage TEC.  With multistage thermoelectric coolers Z-Meter has certain limitations, cause during measuring process in multistage TEC each stage starts to interfere with the next one.  The measuring results for single-stage thermoelectric cooler are absolute.  In case of multistage TEC only ACR resistance is the absolute value, while the rest measured parameters can be used only as relative, for before and after comparison.

Thermoelectric Coolers with WB pads and posts

The standard measuring interfaces of the DX4090 Z-Meter are optimal for thermoelectric coolers with terminal wires. TECs with WB pads and posts or special SMD TEC configurations require an additional measuring interface - WB Clips. Z-Meter WB Clips is an optional accessory with stainless steel fixtures, manufactured by request for a specific TEC size. The compact instrument with spring clip fixation has 4-wires measuring method probes that don't damage TEC WB pads during the measuring process. The clip has a terminal connector compatible with all Z-Meter versions. WB Clips are not included in the standard DX4090 set by default because there is no universal solution.  

WB Clips are not included in the DX4090 standard set, the clips are manufactured individually by request, following the particular thermoelectric cooler dimensions, WB pads or posts geometry and position.

TEC Measuring Process

With Z-Meter you can quickly test thermoelectric cooler parameters and compare them with TEC manufacturer's batch specification. Thus the income TEC quality control (QC) becomes fast and easy with Z-Meter.  But the best way to use Z-Meter is the step-by-step control of TEC during your mounting procedures and integration into final assembly.  Thermoelectric coolers may pass through various processes with mechanical and thermal impacts during TEC integration into a final design.  Soldering, baking/annealing, mechanical pressure and shear forces, various thermal shocks and temperature cycling - after each stage it's better to check and control all TEC parameters and conditions to be sure that TEC is not damaged.

The testing can be done simply by ACR only or with full control of all three TEC key parameters. The accurate and precise control of TEC parameters based on "before-after" comparisons saves time and money. Any potential risk of TEC failure can be identified at early stage, so you can be sure that TEC is fully functional after all mounting processes and has can provide the required cooling performance.

Z-Meter helps to identify quickly the reasons of TEC failure in the final device.  You may quickly understand that TEC is mechanically damaged by ACR measuring, or identify TEC detachment inside a package by Time Constant parameter measurement.  Z-Meter is specially developed for thermoelectric coolers and gives considerably more possibilities with TEC quality control than any standard device like LC meters.

What you can see with Z-Meter

TEC AC Resistance (ACR), Figure-of-Merit (Z) and Time Constant give you excessive info about the thermoelectric cooler.  The measurement of these three parameters and the comparison based on the "before-after" method help to identify the most common reasons for TEC failure.  It's possible to idendify the mechanical damage of thermoelectric cooler, degradation of TEC BiTe material, poor integrating or detachment of TEC in a package.  The detailed review is available by this link.  


Connection to PC


PC Connection Interface

USB Mini

Z-Meter Software

Included. Windows version only

Measurement Interface

Internal in Chamber and External with Clips

Measurement Scheme

4-wires method

Ambient Temp. Sensor

Available, integrated

TEC Polarity Check


Typical TEC Testing Time


20 .. 180 (depending on TEC size and Time Constant)

Operating Conditions

Ambient Temperature


15 .. 35



0 .. 95

TEC AC Resistance Measurements ( ACR )



0.1 .. 100



0.6 (but >0.01Ohm)




Figure-of-Merit Measurements ( Z )



1 .. 4







TEC Time Constant



1 .. 100







DX4090 Power Supply



5 (from USB port)




Dimensions and Weight



160 x 66 x 30




  DX4090 Manuals

Other Z-Meter devices available

There are several Z-Meter versions available, each one with some key features.  The measuring methodic and tolerances are the same for all Z-Meter devices.  The differences are in form-factor, usability, measuring interfaces and application scope.  Please, check the following devices available:

DX4190 - 10position Z-Meter for volume manufacturers

Z-Meter DX4190 is the must-have device for TEC manufacturers or consumers with serious TEC volumes. DX4190 provides 100% Quality Control for thermoelectric coolers in all stages of mass production with no compromises. The device  measures TEC key parameters  for up to 10 thermoelectric coolers simultaneously. DX4190 can be used with separate (not mounted) TECs by manufacturers or consumers at income/outcome control, or TECs quality control and performance testing in the end-product with thermoelectric cooler integrated.

DX4085 TEC Tester - compact stand-alone Z-Meter

DX4085 Z-Meter Tester is a portable measuring device for thermoelectric coolers express analysis. The device measures directly three key parameters (AC Resistance, Figure-of-Merit and Time Constant) of separate or integrated (mounted)  thermoelectric coolers. DX4085 has 2.4" LCD screen, built-in Li-Ion battery for up to 8 hours operating, it is autonomous and doesn't require a constant connection to PC. All necessary settings, measuring process results and history are displayed and adjusted on LCD screen. The device has a miniature, pocket size form-factor and it's ideal for engineers and researchers dealing with TECs every day.  

DX4095 Mini - Z-Meter in USB-stick

Z-Meter Mini DX4095 is a portable TEC tester for thermoelectric coolers express analysis. The device has ultra-miniature, pocket size form-factor and it's ideal for engineers and researchers dealing with TECs. Due to a very small size DX4095 has only external measurement interface - external clips - connected to Z-Meter.  DX4095 has also a built-in temperature sensor for accurate TEC ACR calculations.  DX4095 is recommended for regular express quality control of small TEC batches, occasional QC testing, R&D analysis and TEC integrating/assembly process control and optimization.

- Express TEC parameters testing (ACR, Z, t)

- Integrated ambient temperature sensor

- Test chamber and External 4-wires Clips

- Suitable for separate and mounted TECs

- TEC Polarity check function

- Acceptable for any TEC size

- USB interface for communication with PC

- Powered by USB

DX4091 Pellet Tester

Z-Meter model DX4091 stays separate from the rest devices in our Z-Meter family. While the rest devices measure thermoelectric coolers as assembled units, DX4091 uses a unique and innovative methodic to test a single BiTe pellet (post). The compact table-top device measures  Resistance (R), Conductivity (σ) and Figure-of-Merit (Z) of a single BiTe pellet.  DX4091 is recommended mainly for thermoelectric modules manufacturers and R&D specialists interested in thermoelectric materials analysis and QC.















Pellet Tester