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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 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.

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) (SC-22)
OSTI Identifier:
1386908
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0001299; FG02-09ER46577
Resource Type:
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

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. doi: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. doi: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},
journal = {Optics Express},
number = S3,
volume = 20,
place = {United States},
year = {2012},
month = {3}
}

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