Hyperbolic metamaterial-based near-field thermophotovoltaic system for hundreds of nanometer vacuum gap

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Artificially designed hyperbolic metamaterial (HMM) possesses extraordinary electromagnetic features different from those of naturally existing materials. In particular, the dispersion relation of waves existing inside the HMM is hyperbolic rather than elliptical; thus, waves that are evanescent in isotropic media become propagating in the HMM. This characteristic of HMMs opens a novel way to spectrally control the near-field thermal radiation in which evanescent waves in the vacuum gap play a critical role. In this paper, we theoretically investigate the performance of a near-field thermophotovoltaic (TPV) energy conversion system in which a W/SiO2-multilayer-based HMM serves as the emitter at 1000 K and InAs works as the TPV cell at 300 K. By carefully designing the thickness of constituent materials of the HMM emitter, the electric power of the near-field TPV devices can be increased by about 6 times at 100-nm vacuum gap as compared to the case of the plain W emitter. Alternatively, in regards to the electric power generation, HMM emitter at experimentally achievable 100-nm vacuum gap performs equivalently to the plain W emitter at 18-nm vacuum gap. We show that the enhancement mechanism of the HMM emitter is due to the coupled surface plasmon modes at multiple metal-dielectric interfaces inside the HMM emitter. With the minority carrier transport model, the optimal p-n junction depth of the TPV cell has also been determined at various vacuum gaps. (C) 2016 Optical Society of Americ
Publisher
OPTICAL SOC AMER
Issue Date
2016-03
Language
English
Article Type
Article
Citation

OPTICS EXPRESS, v.24, no.6, pp.A635 - A649

ISSN
1094-4087
DOI
10.1364/OE.24.00A635
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10203/209051
Appears in Collection
ME-Journal Papers(저널논문)
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