A solid state thermoelectric converter includes a thermally insulating separator layer, a semiconducting collector and an electron emitter. The electron emitter comprises a metal nanoparticle layer or plurality of metal nanocatalyst particles disposed on one side of said separator layer. A first electrically conductive lead is electrically coupled to the electron emitter. The collector layer is disposed on the other side of the separator layer, wherein the thickness of the separator layer is less than 1 .mu.m. A second conductive lead is electrically coupled to the collector layer.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
This invention was made with government support under Contract No. DE-AC05-00OR22725 between the United States Department of Energy and UT-Battelle, LLC. The government has certain rights in this invention.