Tungsten Nanowire Metamaterials as Selective Solar Thermal Absorbers by Excitation of Magnetic Polaritons

Jui Yung Chang, Hao Wang, Liping Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The present study focuses on nanowire-based metamaterials selective solar absorbers. Finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) simulation is employed for numerically designing a broadband solar absorber made of lossy tungsten nanowires which exhibit spectral selectivity due to the excitation of magnetic polariton (MP). An inductor-capacitor circuit model of the nanowire array is developed in order to predict the resonance wavelengths of the MP harmonic modes. The effects of geometric parameters such as nanowire diameter, height, and array period are investigated and understood by the sweep of geometric parameters, which tunes the MP resonance and the resulting optical and radiative properties. In addition, the optical properties and conversion efficiency of this nanowire-based absorber are both demonstrated to be insensitive on incidence angles, which illustrates the potential applicability of the proposed nanowire-based metamaterial as a high-efficiency wide-angle selective solar absorber. The results show that the nanowire-based selective solar absorber with base geometric parameters can reach 83.6% of conversion efficiency with low independence of incident angle. The results will facilitate the design of novel low-cost and high-efficiency materials for enhancing solar thermal energy harvesting and conversion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number052401
JournalJournal of Heat Transfer
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2017


  • magnetic polariton
  • metamaterial
  • nanowires
  • solar absorber

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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