Lower symmetry for higher performance

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Science  13 Jul 2018:
Vol. 361, Issue 6398, pp. 142-143
DOI: 10.1126/science.361.6398.142-g

Thermoelectric materials interchange heat and electricity. Lowering thermal conductivity while maintaining electrical conductivity is important for developing promising thermoelectric materials. Li et al. depart from the usual strategy of using high-symmetry materials by moving from cubic to rhombohedral GeTe, which ends up boosting the thermoelectric performance. The performance metric called the figure of merit is 2.4 at 600 K. The general strategy may be applicable to other materials, providing another pathway to improve performance.

Joule 2, 976 (2018)

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