Hidden distortions trigger promising thermoelectric property

A study describes a new mechanism for lowering thermal conductivity to aid the search for materials that convert heat to electricity or electricity to heat. Scientists describe the previously hidden sub-nanoscale origins of exceptional thermoelectric properties in silver gallium telluride. The discovery reveals a quantum mechanical twist on what drives the emergence of these properties — and opens up a completely new direction for searching for new high-performance thermoelectrics.