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Natural composite materials are renowned for their mechanical strength and toughness: despite being highly mineralized, with the organic component constituting not more than a few per cent of the composite material, the fracture toughness exceeds that of single crystals of the pure mineral by two to three orders of magnitude. The judicious placement of the(More)
Large reductions in the thermal conductivity of thermoelectrics using nanostructures have been widely demonstrated. Some enhancements in the thermopower through nanostructuring have also been reported. However, these improvements are generally offset by large drops in the electrical conductivity due to a drastic reduction in the mobility. Here, we show that(More)
Research in stretchable conductors is fuelled by diverse technological needs. Flexible electronics, neuroprosthetic and cardiostimulating implants, soft robotics and other curvilinear systems require materials with high conductivity over a tensile strain of 100 per cent (refs 1-3). Furthermore, implantable devices or stretchable displays need materials with(More)
The existing methods of synthesis of thermoelectric (TE) materials remain constrained to multi-step processes that are time and energy intensive. Here we demonstrate that essentially all compound thermoelectrics can be synthesized in a single-phase form at a minimal cost and on the timescale of seconds using a combustion process called self-propagating(More)
How to suppress the performance deterioration of thermoelectric materials in the intrinsic excitation region remains a key challenge. The magnetic transition of permanent magnet nanoparticles from ferromagnetism to paramagnetism provides an effective approach to finding the solution to this challenge. Here, we have designed and prepared magnetic(More)
Considering only about one third of the world's energy consumption is effectively utilized for functional uses, and the remaining is dissipated as waste heat, thermoelectric (TE) materials, which offer a direct and clean thermal-to-electric conversion pathway, have generated a tremendous worldwide interest. The last two decades have witnessed a remarkable(More)
Mg2Si1-xSnx solid solutions are promising thermoelectric materials for power generation applications in the 500-800 K range. Outstanding n-type forms of these solid solutions have been developed in the past few years with the thermoelectric figure of merit ZT as high as 1.4. Unfortunately, no comparable performance has been achieved so far with p-type forms(More)
The ability to control chemical and physical structuring at the nanometre scale is important for developing high-performance thermoelectric materials. Progress in this area has been achieved mainly by enhancing phonon scattering and consequently decreasing the thermal conductivity of the lattice through the design of either interface structures at nanometre(More)
A series of Sb-doped Mg2Si(1-x)Sb(x) compounds with the Sb content x within 0 ≤ x ≤ 0.025 were prepared by self-propagating high-temperature synthesis (SHS) combined with plasma activated sintering (PAS) method in less than 20 min. Thermodynamic parameters of the SHS process, such as adiabatic temperature, ignition temperature, combustion temperature, and(More)
Skutterudite materials have been considered as promising thermoelectric candidates due to intrinsically good electrical conductivity and tailorable thermal conductivity. Options for improving thermal-to-electrical conversion efficiency include identifying novel materials, adding filler atoms, and substitutional dopants. Incorporating filler or(More)