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High efficiency thermal radiation extraction for thermophotovoltaic cells efficient heating and other applications

Background: Researchers in Prof. Shanhui Fan’s laboratory have invented a thermal extraction device that is designed to enhance power emission from thermal radiators up to 10x compared to conventional structures. They achieve this efficiency (far exceeding that of a blackbody of the same area) by placing the emitter in optical contact with an extraction device thus enabling all internal modes to contribute to far field radiation. The invention is applicable in a variety of radiative heating and cooling applications including enhancement of the radiation available for conversion to electricity in thermophotovoltaic cells. Stage of Research: The inventors have experimentally demonstrated a four-fold enhancement of the far-field thermal emission of a carbon-black emitter with emissivity of 0.85. Technology Applications: 1) Radiative temperature management - radiative heating and cooling thermal heating 2) Solar energy – heat to electric conversion in thermophotovotaic cells


1) Enhanced power conversion - device can improve power emission 4-10x compared to conventional thermal radiators 2) Lower operating temperature of radiative heating elements 3) Energy efficiency for end user applications

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