Thermophotovoltaic emitters based on a two-dimensional grating/thin-film nanostructure

Bo Zhao, Liping Wang, Yong Shuai, Zhuomin M. Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

183 Scopus citations


Thermophotovoltaic (TPV) devices can convert thermal radiation directly into electricity. To improve the efficiency of TPV systems, wavelength-selective emitters are designed to take thermal energy from various heat sources and then emit photons to the TPV cells. A two-dimensional grating/thin-film nanostructure is proposed as an efficient emitter, whose performance is enhanced by the excitations of both surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) and magnetic polaritons (MPs). Rigorous coupled-wave analysis is used to predict the emittance as well as the electromagnetic field and current density distributions. The normal emittance of the proposed nanostructure is shown to be wavelength-selective and polarization-insensitive. The mechanisms of SPP and MP excitations in the nanostructure are elucidated for different polarizations. The current-density loop further confirms the existence of magnetic resonances. Furthermore, the effect of azimuthal and polar angles on the emittance spectra is also investigated, suggesting that the proposed structure has high emittance not only in the normal direction but also at large oblique angles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)637-645
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer
StatePublished - 2013


  • Magnetic polariton
  • Surface plasmon polariton
  • Thermophotovoltaic emitter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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