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January 10th, 2008
Correspondence to: James R. Heath1 Correspondence and requests for materials should be addressed to J.R.H. (Email: ).
Thermoelectric materials interconvert thermal gradients and electric fields for power generation or for refrigeration1, 2. Thermoelectrics currently find only niche applications because of their limited efficiency, which is measured by the dimensionless parameter ZT—a function of the Seebeck coefficient or thermoelectric power, and of the electrical and thermal conductivities. Maximizing ZT is challenging because optimizing one physical parameter often adversely affects another3.
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