Semiconductor-based selective emitter with a sharp cutoff for thermophotovoltaic energy conversion

Qing Ni, Rajagopalan Ramesh, Cheng An Chen, Liping Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


A semiconductor emitter can possibly achieve a sharp cutoff wavelength due to its intrinsic bandgap absorption and almost zero sub-bandgap emission without doping. A germanium-wafer-based selective emitter with front-side antireflection and backside metal coating is studied here for thermophotovoltaic (TPV) energy conversion. Optical simulation predicts the spectral emittance above 0.9 in the wavelengths from 1 to 1.85 µm and below 0.2 in the sub-bandgap range with a sharp cutoff around the bandgap, indicating superior spectral selectivity behavior. This is confirmed by excellent agreement with indirectly measured spectral emittance of the fabricated Ge-based selective emitter sample. Furthermore, the TPV efficiency by pairing the Ge-based selective emitter with a GaSb cell is theoretically analyzed at different temperatures. This Letter facilitates the development of the semiconductor-based selective emitters for enhancing TPV performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3163-3166
Number of pages4
JournalOptics Letters
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jul 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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