New absorber and emitter designs and high temperature materials for thermophotovoltaics

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Thermophotovoltaic (TPV) solar cells, where broad-band solar radiation is absorbed by an intermediate, which then emits narrow-band thermal radiation towards a solar cell have been proposed for some time as a route for high efficiency solar energy harvesting. However, due to limitations in both design of the active components, as well as the high temperature stability of the materials making up these systems, the theoretical maximum efficiency of 85% for such devices has not been realized. We are currently exploiting emerging opportunities in the design and fabrication of metallic photonic crystals for TPV applications. We have now demonstrated tungsten based 3D photonic crystals which retain micron-scale structure even at temperatures of 1300 K, and are exploring other materials systems that may have even higher temperature stability. Through simulation and modeling, we have designed a number of absorber/emitter structures that match both the broad-band solar spectrum and the desired narrow band emission required for efficient single-junction solar cells. The self and directed assembly methods used to fabricate the TPV structures can produce complex large-area structures at low cost.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication11AIChE - 2011 AIChE Annual Meeting, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2011
Event2011 AIChE Annual Meeting, 11AIChE - Minneapolis, MN, United States
Duration: Oct 16 2011Oct 21 2011

Publication series

Name11AIChE - 2011 AIChE Annual Meeting, Conference Proceedings


Other2011 AIChE Annual Meeting, 11AIChE
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityMinneapolis, MN

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)


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