Thin-film superlattice (SL) structures in thermoelectric materials are shown to be a promising approach to obtaining an enhanced figure-of-merit, ZT, compared to conventional, state-of-the-art bulk alloyed materials. In this paper we describe experimental results on Bi2Te3/Sb2Te3 and Si/Ge SL structures, relevant to thermoelectric cooling and power conversion, respectively. The short-period Bi2Te3/Sb2Te3 and Si/Ge SL structures appear to indicate reduced thermal conductivities compared to alloys of these materials. From the observed behavior of thermal conductivity values in the Bi2Te3/Sb2Te3 SL structures, a distinction is made where certain types of periodic structures may correspond to an ordered alloy rather than an SL, and therefore, do not offer a significant reduction in thermal conductivity values. Our study also indicates that SL structures, with little or weak quantum-confinement, also offer an improvement in thermoelectric power factor over conventional alloys. We present power factor and electrical transport data in the plane of the SL interfaces to provide preliminary support for our arguments on reduced alloy scattering and impurity scattering in Bi2Te3/Sb2Te3 and Si/Ge SL structures. These results, though tentative due to the possible role of the substrate and the developmental nature of the 3-ω method used to determine thermal conductivity values, suggest that the short-period SL structures potentially offer factorial improvements in the three-dimensional figure-of-merit (ZT3D) compared to current state-of-the-art bulk alloys. An approach to a thin-film thermoelectric device called a Bipolarity-Assembled, Series-Inter-Connected Thin- Film Thermoelectric Device (BASIC-TFTD) is introduced to take advantage of these thin-film SL structures.