Optical nanostructures design, fabrication, and applications for solar/thermal energy conversion

Mool C. Gupta, Craig Ungaro, Jonathan J. Foley IV, Stephen K. Gray"

Solar Energy


Optical nanostructures can control the optical absorption and emission properties of surfaces and are therefore being investigated for solar thermophotovoltaics, thermophotovoltaics, solar thermal, infrared sensing, infrared sources, incandescent light sources, and thermal imaging applications, among many others. This review article describes various modeling methods available for design of optical nanostructures to control light absorption and emission properties of surfaces, as well as various methods available for the fabrication of large area nanostructured surfaces. Throughout the review, we provide examples of state of the art energy generation devices using such optical nanostructures. A discussion of outstanding obstacles for the achievement of high efficiency solar thermophotovoltaics systems is provided along with examples of systems showing exceptional promise.