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Database of compounds guides efficient thermoelectric combinations [Registered]

A repository developed by Duke University engineers that they call a “materials genome” will allow scientists to stop using trial-and-error methods for combining electricity-producing materials called “thermoelectrics.” Thermoelectric materials produce electricity by taking advantage of temperature differences on opposite sides of a material. They are currently being used in deep space satellites and camp coolers. But until now, scientists have not had a rational basis for combining different elements to produce these energy-producing materials. The project developed by the Duke engineers covers thousands of compounds, and provides detailed “recipes” for creating most efficient combinations for a particular purpose, much like…

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