A thermoelectric material and a thermoelectric converter using this material. The thermoelectric material has a first component including a semiconductor material and a second component including a rare earth material included in the first component to thereby increase a figure of merit of a composite of the semiconductor material and the rare earth material relative to a figure of merit of the semiconductor material. The thermoelectric converter has a p-type thermoelectric material and a n-type thermoelectric material. At least one of the p-type thermoelectric material and the n-type thermoelectric material includes a rare earth material in at least one of the p-type thermoelectric material or the n-type thermoelectric material.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
This application is a continuation application of PCT Application No. PCT/US2011/051573, filed Sep. 14, 2011, the entire contents of which is incorporated herein by reference. This invention was made with contract AL-WFO2008-04 awarded from Department of Energy. This invention was made with contract W911NF-08-C-0058 awarded from the Army on behalf of DARPA. The Government has certain rights in the invention.