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- noun metrology Symbol for the
zeptotesla, an SI unitof magnetic flux densityequal to 10−21 teslas.
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The utility of thermoelectric materials is usually measured by what's called a "figure of merit," a unit-less value abbreviated as zT.
Closer to room temperature 200°C or 473K, the best semiconductors we have turn in a zT of about one.
To make sense in specialized applications, we'd want a zT above two; the higher above that and/or the cheaper the material, the more use cases become possible.
The authors simply tried various degrees of oxidation until they had optimized the thermoelectric effect, finding they could get a zT as high as 0.25 at room temperature.
Based on their calculations, they produced a Pb/Te/Se material that was doped with sodium impurities, and measured its zT as 1.8 at 850K.
Right now, some of the best materials we know about have a zT of about one, and some of these involve the use of toxic metals.
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