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Semiconductors are cool

In the 1950s there were hopes that semiconductor thermocouples would replace mechanical refrigerators, just as semiconductor transistors supplanted vacuum tubes. New materials may bring that goal a bit closer.

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Figure 1: From thermoelectric dreams to reality.


  1. Venkatasubramanian, R., Siivola, E., Colpitts, T. & O'Quinn, B. Nature 413, 597–602 (2001).

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  2. Dubois, L. H. 18th International Conference on Thermoelectrics 1–4 (IEEE, Piscataway, New Jersey, 1999);

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Correspondence to Cronin B. Vining.

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Vining, C. Semiconductors are cool. Nature 413, 577–578 (2001).

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