The present invention comprises new materials, material structures, and processes of fabrication of such that may be used in technologies involving the conversion of light to electricity and/or heat to electricity, and in optoelectronics technologies. The present invention provide for the fabrication of a clathrate compound comprising a type II clathrate lattice with atoms of silicon and germanium as a main framework forming lattice spacings within the framework, wherein the clathrate lattice follows the general formula Si.sub.136-yGe.sub.y, where y indicates the number of Ge atoms present in the main framework and 136-y indicates the number of Si atoms present in the main framework, and wherein y>0.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST
This invention was made with Government support under Grant No. DE-FG02-04ER46146 awarded by the United States Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.