Tailoring photonic metamaterial resonances for thermal radiation

  • Bermel P
  • Ghebrebrhan M
  • Harradon M
 et al. 
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Selective solar absorbers generally have limited effectiveness in unconcentrated sunlight, because of reradiation losses over a broad range of wavelengths and angles. However, metamaterials offer the potential to limit radiation exchange to a proscribed range of angles and wavelengths, which has the potential to dramatically boost performance. After globally optimizing one particular class of such designs, we find thermal transfer efficiencies of 78% at temperatures over 1,000°C, with overall system energy conversion efficiencies of 37%, exceeding the Shockley-Quiesser efficiency limit of 31% for photovoltaic conversion under unconcentrated sunlight. This represents a 250% increase in efficiency and 94% decrease in selective emitter area compared to a standard, angular-insensitive selective absorber.PACS: 42.70.Qs; 81.05.Xj; 78.67.Pt; 42.79.Ek.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Metamaterials
  • Photonic crystals
  • Solar absorbers

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  • Peter Bermel

  • Michael Ghebrebrhan

  • Michael Harradon

  • Ivan Celanovic

  • John D. Joannopoulos

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