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      Advances in thermoelectric materials research: Looking back and moving forward

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      Science

      American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

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          Topological Insulators

           ,   (2011)
          Topological insulators are electronic materials that have a bulk band gap like an ordinary insulator, but have protected conducting states on their edge or surface. The 2D topological insulator is a quantum spin Hall insulator, which is a close cousin of the integer quantum Hall state. A 3D topological insulator supports novel spin polarized 2D Dirac fermions on its surface. In this Colloquium article we will review the theoretical foundation for these electronic states and describe recent experiments in which their signatures have been observed. We will describe transport experiments on HgCdTe quantum wells that demonstrate the existence of the edge states predicted for the quantum spin Hall insulator. We will then discuss experiments on Bi_{1-x}Sb_x, Bi_2 Se_3, Bi_2 Te_3 and Sb_2 Te_3 that establish these materials as 3D topological insulators and directly probe the topology of their surface states. We will then describe exotic states that can occur at the surface of a 3D topological insulator due to an induced energy gap. A magnetic gap leads to a novel quantum Hall state that gives rise to a topological magnetoelectric effect. A superconducting energy gap leads to a state that supports Majorana fermions, and may provide a new venue for realizing proposals for topological quantum computation. We will close by discussing prospects for observing these exotic states, a well as other potential device applications of topological insulators.
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            Topological insulators in Bi2Se3, Bi2Te3 and Sb2Te3 with a single Dirac cone on the surface

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              Complex thermoelectric materials.

              Thermoelectric materials, which can generate electricity from waste heat or be used as solid-state Peltier coolers, could play an important role in a global sustainable energy solution. Such a development is contingent on identifying materials with higher thermoelectric efficiency than available at present, which is a challenge owing to the conflicting combination of material traits that are required. Nevertheless, because of modern synthesis and characterization techniques, particularly for nanoscale materials, a new era of complex thermoelectric materials is approaching. We review recent advances in the field, highlighting the strategies used to improve the thermopower and reduce the thermal conductivity.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Science
                Science
                American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
                0036-8075
                1095-9203
                September 28 2017
                September 29 2017
                : 357
                : 6358
                : eaak9997
                Article
                10.1126/science.aak9997
                © 2017

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