Beauty in imperfection: How crystal defects can help convert waste heat into electricity

Source: Science Daily

Half-Heusler Ni-based alloys are thermoelectric materials with the potential for converting waste heat into electricity. However, the origin of their impressive conversion efficiency is not entirely clear. In a recent study, scientists from have attempted to uncover the role that Ni defects have in the crystal structure of these alloys and how their desirable thermoelectric properties are a consequence of small changes in strain around defective sites.