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The new superlattice material, Bi4O4SeCl2, developed by a team of scientists from the United Kingdom and France, combines two different arrangements of atoms that were each found to slow down the speed at which heat moves through the structure of a solid.

“The material we have discovered has the lowest thermal conductivity of any inorganic solid and is nearly as poor a conductor of heat as air itself,” said senior author Professor Matt Rosseinsky, a researcher in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Liverpool.

“The implications of this discovery are significant, both for fundamental scientific understanding and for practical applications in thermoelectric devices that harvest waste heat and as thermal barrier coatings for more efficient gas turbines.”

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