skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Overcoming the black body limit in plasmonic and graphene near-field thermophotovoltaic systems

Abstract

Near-field thermophotovoltaic (TPV) systems with carefully tailored emitter-PV properties show large promise for a new temperature range (600 – 1200K) solid state energy conversion, where conventional thermoelectric (TE) devices cannot operate due to high temperatures and far-field TPV schemes suffer from low efficiency and power density. We present a detailed theoretical study of several different implementations of thermal emitters using plasmonic materials and graphene. We find that optimal improvements over the black body limit are achieved for low bandgap semiconductors and properly matched plasmonic frequencies. For a pure plasmonic emitter, theoretically predicted generated power density of 14 $$\frac{W}{cm^2}$$ efficiency of 36% can be achieved at 600K (hot-side), for 0.17eV bandgap (InSb). Developing insightful approximations, we argue that large plasmonic losses can, contrary to intuition, be helpful in enhancing the overall near-field transfer. We discuss and quantify the properties of an optimal near-field photovoltaic (PV) diode. In addition, we study plasmons in graphene and show that doping can be used to tune the plasmonic dispersion relation to match the PV cell bangap. In case of graphene, theoretically predicted generated power density of 6(120)$$\frac{W}{cm^2}$$ efficiency of 35(40)% can be achieved at 600(1200)K, for 0.17eV bandgap. With the ability to operate in intermediatemore » temperature range, as well as high efficiency and power density, near-field TPV systems have the potential to complement conventional TE and TPV solid state heat-to-electricity conversion devices.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States)
  2. Univ. of Zagreb (Croatia)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES)
OSTI Identifier:
1386908
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0001299; FG02-09ER46577
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Optics Express
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 20; Journal Issue: S3; Related Information: S3TEC partners with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (lead); Boston College; Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; Journal ID: ISSN 1094-4087
Publisher:
Optical Society of America (OSA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
30 DIRECT ENERGY CONVERSION

Citation Formats

Ilic, Ognjen, Jablan, Marinko, Joannopoulos, John D., Celanovic, Ivan, and Soljačić, Marin. Overcoming the black body limit in plasmonic and graphene near-field thermophotovoltaic systems. United States: N. p., 2012. Web. doi:10.1364/OE.20.00A366.
Ilic, Ognjen, Jablan, Marinko, Joannopoulos, John D., Celanovic, Ivan, & Soljačić, Marin. Overcoming the black body limit in plasmonic and graphene near-field thermophotovoltaic systems. United States. https://doi.org/10.1364/OE.20.00A366
Ilic, Ognjen, Jablan, Marinko, Joannopoulos, John D., Celanovic, Ivan, and Soljačić, Marin. Tue . "Overcoming the black body limit in plasmonic and graphene near-field thermophotovoltaic systems". United States. https://doi.org/10.1364/OE.20.00A366. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1386908.
@article{osti_1386908,
title = {Overcoming the black body limit in plasmonic and graphene near-field thermophotovoltaic systems},
author = {Ilic, Ognjen and Jablan, Marinko and Joannopoulos, John D. and Celanovic, Ivan and Soljačić, Marin},
abstractNote = {Near-field thermophotovoltaic (TPV) systems with carefully tailored emitter-PV properties show large promise for a new temperature range (600 – 1200K) solid state energy conversion, where conventional thermoelectric (TE) devices cannot operate due to high temperatures and far-field TPV schemes suffer from low efficiency and power density. We present a detailed theoretical study of several different implementations of thermal emitters using plasmonic materials and graphene. We find that optimal improvements over the black body limit are achieved for low bandgap semiconductors and properly matched plasmonic frequencies. For a pure plasmonic emitter, theoretically predicted generated power density of 14 $\frac{W}{cm^2}$ efficiency of 36% can be achieved at 600K (hot-side), for 0.17eV bandgap (InSb). Developing insightful approximations, we argue that large plasmonic losses can, contrary to intuition, be helpful in enhancing the overall near-field transfer. We discuss and quantify the properties of an optimal near-field photovoltaic (PV) diode. In addition, we study plasmons in graphene and show that doping can be used to tune the plasmonic dispersion relation to match the PV cell bangap. In case of graphene, theoretically predicted generated power density of 6(120)$\frac{W}{cm^2}$ efficiency of 35(40)% can be achieved at 600(1200)K, for 0.17eV bandgap. With the ability to operate in intermediate temperature range, as well as high efficiency and power density, near-field TPV systems have the potential to complement conventional TE and TPV solid state heat-to-electricity conversion devices.},
doi = {10.1364/OE.20.00A366},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/1386908}, journal = {Optics Express},
issn = {1094-4087},
number = S3,
volume = 20,
place = {United States},
year = {2012},
month = {3}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 136 works
Citation information provided by
Web of Science

Save / Share:

Works referenced in this record:

Efficiency and power density potential of combustion-driven thermophotovoltaic systems using GaSb photovoltaic cells
journal, January 2001


Dynamical polarization of graphene at finite doping
journal, December 2006


Anomalous radiative transfer between closely-spaced bodies
journal, December 1969


Microscale radiation in thermophotovoltaic devices—A review
journal, January 2007


Heat transfer between graphene and amorphous SiO 2
journal, October 2010


Thermal Impacts on the Performance of Nanoscale-Gap Thermophotovoltaic Power Generators
journal, June 2011


Performance analysis of near-field thermophotovoltaic devices considering absorption distribution
journal, January 2008


Noncontact heat transfer between two metamaterials
journal, April 2010


Absorber and emitter for solar thermo-photovoltaic systems to achieve efficiency exceeding the Shockley-Queisser limit
journal, January 2009


Optical properties of metallic films for vertical-cavity optoelectronic devices
journal, January 1998


Very large radiative transfer over small distances from a black body for thermophotovoltaic applications
journal, January 2000


Radiative transfer over small distances from a heated metal
journal, January 2000


Surface modes for near field thermophotovoltaics
journal, May 2003


Searching for better plasmonic materials
journal, March 2010


Evaporated Sn‐doped In 2 O 3 films: Basic optical properties and applications to energy‐efficient windows
journal, December 1986


Electric Field Effect in Atomically Thin Carbon Films
journal, October 2004


Design and global optimization of high-efficiency thermophotovoltaic systems
journal, January 2010


Modeling and performance of microscale thermophotovoltaic energy conversion devices
journal, March 2002


New Green-function formalism for surface optics
journal, January 1987


Plasmonics in graphene at infrared frequencies
journal, December 2009


Dielectric function, screening, and plasmons in two-dimensional graphene
journal, May 2007


Optical Properties of n -Type Indium Arsenide in the Fundamental Absorption Edge Region
journal, September 1961


Near-field radiative heat transfer between closely spaced graphene and amorphous SiO 2
journal, June 2011


Enhanced Radiative heat Transfer at Nanometric Distances
journal, July 2002


Highly Confined Hybrid Spoof Surface Plasmons in Ultrathin Metal-Dielectric Heterostructures
journal, October 2010


Thermal Noise in Dissipative Media
journal, March 1961


Proximity-enhanced thermal radiation
journal, October 2002


Optical properties of graphene
journal, October 2008


Theory of heat transfer by evanescent electromagnetic waves
journal, December 1994


Design and optimization of one-dimensional photonic crystals for thermophotovoltaic applications
journal, January 2004


Near-field thermophotovoltaic energy conversion
journal, September 2006


Surface Phonon Polaritons Mediated Energy Transfer between Nanoscale Gaps
journal, August 2009


Thin-film thermoelectric devices with high room-temperature figures of merit
journal, October 2001


Radiative heat transfer at the nanoscale
journal, August 2009


Review of near-field thermal radiation and its application to energy conversion
journal, October 2009


Radiative exchange of heat between nanostructures
journal, August 1999


Near-field radiative heat transfer between a sphere and a substrate
journal, September 2008


Mimicking Surface Plasmons with Structured Surfaces
journal, August 2004


Experimental Verification of Radiation of Plasma Oscillations in Thin Silver Films
journal, November 1960


Infrared Absorption and Valence Band in Indium Antimonide
journal, July 1960


    Works referencing / citing this record:

    Using metallic photonic crystals as visible light sources
    journal, November 2012


    Near-field radiative transfer between two unequal sized spheres with large size disparities
    journal, January 2014


    Effect of Evanescent Waves on the Dark Current of Thermophotovoltaic Cells
    journal, October 2019


    Effect of Evanescent Waves on the Dark Current of Thermophotovoltaic Cells
    journal, October 2019


    Using metallic photonic crystals as visible light sources
    journal, November 2012


    Near-field radiative transfer between two unequal sized spheres with large size disparities
    text, January 2014


    Near-field radiative thermoelectric energy converters: a review
    journal, December 2017


    Radiative heat transfer exceeding the blackbody limit between macroscale planar surfaces separated by a nanosize vacuum gap
    journal, September 2016


    Near-field radiative heat transfer between parallel structures in the deep subwavelength regime
    journal, March 2016


    Observing of the super-Planckian near-field thermal radiation between graphene sheets
    journal, October 2018


    High-injection effects in near-field thermophotovoltaic devices
    journal, November 2017


    Thin-film ‘Thermal Well’ Emitters and Absorbers for High-Efficiency Thermophotovoltaics
    journal, June 2015


    ‘Squeezing’ near-field thermal emission for ultra-efficient high-power thermophotovoltaic conversion
    journal, July 2016


    Dynamic tailoring of electromagnetic behaviors of graphene plasmonic oligomers by local chemical potential
    journal, January 2018


    Emerging photonic architectures in two-dimensional opto-electronics
    journal, January 2018


    Temporal coupled-mode theory model for resonant near-field thermophotovoltaics
    journal, October 2015


    Exergy in near-field electromagnetic heat transfer
    journal, September 2017


    High-performance near-field electroluminescent refrigeration device consisting of a GaAs light emitting diode and a Si photovoltaic cell
    journal, October 2017


    Near-field thermionic-thermophotovoltaic energy converters
    journal, May 2019


    Self-sustaining thermophotonic circuits
    journal, May 2019


    Thermal graphene metamaterials and epsilon-near-zero high temperature plasmonics
    journal, March 2017


    Enhanced near-field thermal radiation and reduced Casimir stiction between doped-Si gratings
    journal, June 2015


    Enhancing Thermophotovoltaic Performance Using Graphene-BN- In Sb Near-Field Heterostructures
    journal, October 2019


    Graphene-on-Silicon Near-Field Thermophotovoltaic Cell
    journal, September 2014


    Near-Field Enhanced Negative Luminescent Refrigeration
    journal, August 2016


    Near-field thermal radiation transfer controlled by plasmons in graphene
    journal, April 2012


    Intrinsic plasmons in two-dimensional Dirac materials
    journal, June 2013


    Ideal near-field thermophotovoltaic cells
    journal, May 2015


    Graphene-based amplification and tuning of near-field radiative heat transfer between dissimilar polar materials
    journal, July 2017


    Surface-mode-assisted amplification of radiative heat transfer between nanoparticles
    journal, April 2018


    Nanoscale Radiative Heat Flow due to Surface Plasmons in Graphene and Doped Silicon
    journal, December 2012


    Adiabatic Thermal Radiation Pumps for Thermal Photonics
    journal, October 2019


    Losses in plasmonics: from mitigating energy dissipation to embracing loss-enabled functionalities
    journal, January 2017


    Near-field thermal radiation between graphene-covered doped silicon plates
    journal, January 2013


    Near-field radiative transfer between two unequal sized spheres with large size disparities
    journal, January 2014


    Graphene-assisted Si-InSb thermophotovoltaic system for low temperature applications
    journal, January 2015


    Hyperbolic metamaterial-based near-field thermophotovoltaic system for hundreds of nanometer vacuum gap
    journal, January 2016


    Study of W/HfO 2 grating selective thermal emitters for thermophotovoltaic applications
    journal, January 2018


    Micron-sized liquid nitrogen-cooled indium antimonide photovoltaic cell for near-field thermophotovoltaics
    journal, January 2019


    Realization of narrowband thermal emission with optical nanostructures
    journal, January 2015


    High-efficiency thermophotovoltaic energy conversion enabled by a metamaterial selective emitter
    journal, January 2018