News From the Field
Structural Distortions Emerge From Nothing at the Nanoscale
December 16, 2010
Scientists have discovered that a class of materials known to convert heat to electricity and vice versa behaves quite unexpectedly at the nanoscale. The discovery--a new "opposite-direction" phase transition that helps explain the strong thermoelectric response of these materials--may help scientists identify other useful thermoelectrics, and could further their application in capturing energy lost as heat, for example, in automotive and factory exhaust.
DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory
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