In the past the possibility of thermoelectric refrigeration has been considered, but all attempts to produce a practical refrigerator have failed owing to lack of suitable thermocouple materials. In this paper it is proposed that semiconductors should be used and the factors governing their selection are discussed. It is concluded that the semiconductors should be chosen with high mean atomic weights and that they should be prepared with thermoelectric powers lying between 200 and 300 μV.°C-1. Preliminary experiments have led to the production of a thermocouple consisting of bismuth telluride, Bi2Te3, and bismuth, capable of maintaining 26 C of cooling.
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