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Thermal rectification is instrumental to achieving active heat flow control and energy harvesting in nanoscale devices. Here, the authors demonstrate thermal rectification in asymmetric graphene nanostructures, achieving a large rectification factor up to 26%.
Thermoelectric converters built with high thermoelectric activity p-type and n-type materials have the potential to replace mechanical heat-to-electricity converters. Now, efficient n-type SnSe has been prepared, ready to complement its previously reported p-type counterpart.
Concentrated thermoelectric generators convert solar energy to electricity, but historically their conversion efficiency has lagged behind their potential. Now, full system efficiencies of 7.4% are achieved by segmentation of two thermoelectric materials and a spectrally selective surface.
Waste heat can be converted to electricity by thermoelectric generators, but their development is hindered by the lack of cheap materials with good thermoelectric properties. Now, carbon-nanotube-based materials are shown to have improved properties when purified to contain only semiconducting species and then doped.