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Title: Interfacial engineering of solution-processed Ni nanochain-SiO x (x< 2) cermets towards thermodynamically stable, anti-oxidation solar selective absorbers

Here, cermet solar thermal selective absorber coatings are an important component of high-efficiency concentrated solar power (CSP) receivers. The oxidation of the metal nanoparticles in cermet solar absorbers is a great challenge for vacuum-free operation. Recently, we have demonstrated that oxidation is kinetically retarded in solution processed, high-optical-performance Ni nanochain-SiO x cermet system compared to conventional Ni-Al 2O 3 system when annealed in air at 450–600 °C for several hours. However, for long-term, high-temperature applications in CSP systems, thermodynamically stable antioxidation behavior is highly desirable, which requires new mechanisms beyond kinetically reducing the oxidation rate. Towards this goal, in this paper, we demonstrate that pre-operation annealing of Ni nanochain-SiO x cermets at 900 °C in N 2 forms the thermodynamically stable orthorhombic phase of NiSi at the Ni/SiO x interfaces, leading to self-terminated oxidation at 550 °C in air due to this interfacial engineering. In contrast, pre-operation annealing at a lower temperature of 750 °C in N 2 (as conducted in our previous work) cannot achieve interfacial NiSi formation directly, and further annealing in air at 450–600 °C for >4 h only leads to the formation of the less stable (metastable) hexagonal phase of NiSi. Therefore, the high-temperature pre-operation annealingmore » is critical to form the desirable orthorhombic phase of NiSi at Ni/SiO x interfaces towards thermodynamically stable antioxidation behavior. Remarkably, with this improved interfacial engineering, the oxidation of 80-nm-diameter Ni nanochain-SiO x saturates after annealing at 550 °C in air for 12 h. Additional annealing at 550 °C in air for as long as 20 h (i.e., 32 h air annealing at >550 °C in total) has almost no further impact on the structural or optical properties of the coatings, the latter being very sensitive to any interfacial changes due to the localized surface plasmon resonances of the metal nanostructures. This phenomenon holds true for Ni nanoparticle diameter down to 40 nm in Ni-SiO x system, where the optical response remains stable for 53 h at 550 °C in air. The oxidation vs. time curve also shows saturation behavior deviating from the kinetic Deal-Grove oxidation model. These results strongly suggest a promising approach to thermodynamically stable, anti-oxidation Ni/SiO x cermet absorbers via interfacial engineering.« less
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [1]
  1. Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH (United States)
  2. Univ. of Kentucky, Lexington, KY (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Applied Physics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 119; Journal Issue: 13; Journal ID: ISSN 0021-8979
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Research Org:
Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; nickel; oxidation; cermets; surface oxidation; Gibbs free energy
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1245034