Finding merit in dividing neighbors

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Science  08 Jan 2016:
Vol. 351, Issue 6269, pp. 124
DOI: 10.1126/science.aad8688

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A large fraction of energy consumed by humankind is wasted as heat. Some of this energy can be recycled with thermoelectric devices that convert a thermal gradient into electricity. However, their wide adoption will require development of materials with high thermoelectric figure of merit (ZT) that lack rare or harmful elements. On page 141 of this issue, Zhao et al. (1) report on p-doped tin selenide (SnSe), which helps meet these goals.