Thermoelectrics enable the direct conversion of heat into electrical energy—and vice versa. This makes them interesting for a range of technological applications. In the search for thermoelectric materials with the best possible properties, a research team at the Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien) investigated various metallic alloys. A mixture of nickel and gold proved particularly promising. The researchers have published their results in Science Advances.
Since the middle of the 20th century, thermoelectrics have been used to generate electrical energy in space exploration and in everyday applications such as portable refrigerators. Moreover, they could also be used in industrial environments to convert waste heat into green electricity, to name just one of the potential applications.
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