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20 August 2020 Nearly perfect photon utilization in an air-bridge thermophotovoltaic cell
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Thermophotovoltaic (TPV) cells utilize locally emitted thermal radiation to generate electricity. To reach high efficiencies, the unusable spectrum (the below bandgap, or out-of-band spectrum) of the thermal source must be recycled to the source. Current approaches for photon recycling use back-surface reflectors or front surface filters, however, these have not exceeded 95 % out-of-band reflectance. In this work, we demonstrate an out-of-band reflectance of ~99% in a thin-film In0.53Ga0.47As TPV using an air-bridge as photon reflector, which effectively eliminates out-of-band absorption losses. The nearly perfect photon utilization enables a record high TPV power conversion efficiency of over 31% measured with a 1500K blackbody emitter.
Conference Presentation
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Dejiu Fan, Tobias Burger, Sean McSherry, Byungjun Lee, Andrej Lenert, and Stephen Forrest "Nearly perfect photon utilization in an air-bridge thermophotovoltaic cell", Proc. SPIE 11496, New Concepts in Solar and Thermal Radiation Conversion III, 1149604 (20 August 2020);

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