A system is provided. The system includes a thermoelectric device that includes first and second thermally conductive substrates and first and second thermoelements disposed between the first and second thermally conductive substrates, wherein the first thermoelement, or the second thermoelement, or both the first and second thermoelements comprises a thermally insulating and electrically conducting tunneling element having a tunneling gap.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT
 This invention was made with Government support under contract number DE-FC26-04NT42324 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.