The proposed project is concerned with theoretical studies and experimental investigations of a novel type of metal nanostructures that can advantageously be exploited for the development of plasmon-based broadband radiation absorbers and narrowband (within a designed range) thermal emitters of radiation, aiming at boosting considerably up the conversion efficiency in thermophotovoltaics. The project concept is based on our recent breakthrough in realization of efficient broadband light absorbers (Nature Commun. 3, 969, 2012) and our development of various plasmonic nanostructures for efficient narrowband absorption, which implies (by Kirchhoff’s law) efficient narrowband thermal emission that can be tailored to match an absorption band of a semiconductor photodetector. Finally, it is planned to develop near-field thermo-photovoltaic systems that can overcome the black body limit in the efficiency of thermal emission.

Schematic of STPV system containing a broadband absorber with the absorption matching the solar spectrum and a narrowband emitter, whose emission spectrum matches the PV cell absorption.


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