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5 June 2014 Performance of tantalum-tungsten alloy selective emitters in thermophotovoltaic systems
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A tantalum tungsten solid solution alloy, Ta 3% W, based 2D photonic crystal (PhC) was designed and fabricated for high-temperature energy conversion applications. Ta 3% W presents advantages compared to the non-alloys as it combines the better high-temperature thermomechanical properties of W with the more compliant material properties of Ta, allowing for a direct system integration path of the PhC as selective emitter/absorber into a spectrum of energy conversion systems. Indeed metallic PhCs are promising as high performance selective thermal emitters for thermophotovoltaics (TPV), solar thermal, and solar TPV applications due to the ability to tune their spectral properties and achieve highly selective emission. A 2D PhC was designed to have high spectral selectivity matched to the bandgap of a TPV cell using numerical simulations and fabricated using standard semiconductor processes. The emittance of the Ta 3% WPhC was obtained from near-normal reectance measurements at room temperature before and after annealing at 1200 °C for 24h in vacuum with a protective coating of 40 nm HfO2, showing high selectivity in agreement with simulations. SEM images of the cross section of the PhC prepared by FIB confirm the structural stability of the PhC after anneal, i.e. the coating effectively prevented structural degradation due to surface diffusion. The mechanical and thermal stability of the substrate was characterized as well as the optical properties of the fabricated PhC. To evaluate the performance of the selective emitters, the spectral selectivity and useful emitted power density are calculated as a function of operating temperature. At 1200 °C, the useful emitted irradiance is selectively increased by a factor of 3 using the selective emitter as compared to the non-structured surface. All in all, this paper demonstrates the suitability of 2D PhCs fabricated on polycrystalline Ta-W substrates with an HfO2 coating for TPV applications.
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Veronika Stelmakh, Veronika Rinnerbauer, Walker R. Chan, Jay J. Senkevich, John D. Joannopoulos, Marin Soljačić, and Ivan Celanovic "Performance of tantalum-tungsten alloy selective emitters in thermophotovoltaic systems", Proc. SPIE 9115, Energy Harvesting and Storage: Materials, Devices, and Applications V, 911504 (5 June 2014);

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