In accordance with one embodiment of the present disclosure, a thermoelectric device includes a plurality of thermoelectric elements that each include a diffusion barrier. The diffusion barrier includes a refractory metal. The thermoelectric device also includes a plurality of conductors coupled to the plurality of thermoelectric elements. The plurality of conductors include aluminum. In addition, the thermoelectric device includes at least one plate coupled to the plurality of thermoelectric elements using a braze. The braze includes aluminum.
 A portion or all of this disclosure may have been made with Government support under government contract number TCS-236-36 awarded by the United States Department of Energy, and under government contract number W909MY09C0061 awarded by the United States Army of the United States Department of Defense. The Government may have certain rights in this disclosure.