New thermoelectric material may reduce wasted energy

Waste energy in the form of heat has big potential that Kirill Kovnir wants to see recaptured and used. “Normally as a country in general, we waste more than 60 percent of the energy we generate as heat, which we emit to the environment,” Kovnir said.

The new material he synthesized is an intermetallic clathrate, a solid compound in which one component is trapped within the crystalline framework of another. Kovnir has synthesized a material made of copper-phosphorous cages each containing lanthanum cations.