Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Faculty Research

Title

Experimental Characterization and Modeling of a Nanofiber-based Selective Emitter for Thermophotovoltaic Energy Conversion: the Effect of Optical Properties

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2011

Abstract

Aluminum oxide nanofibers doped with erbium oxide have been synthesized by calcining polymer fibers made by the electrospinning technique using a mixture of aluminum acetate, erbium acetate and polyvinylpyrrolidone dissolved in ethanol. The resulting ceramic fibers are used to fabricate a free-standing selective emitter. The general equation of radiation transfer coupled with experimentally measured optical properties is used to model the net radiation obtained from these structures. It has been found that the index of refraction and the extinction coefficient are direct functions of the erbia doping level in the fibers. The fibers radiated in a selective manner at ∼1.53 μm with an efficiency of about 90%. For a fiber film on a substrate, the effect of film thickness, extinction coefficient and substrate emissivity on the overall emitter emissivity is also investigated in this study. Results show that the emissivity of the film increases as the thickness of the film increases up to a maximum value, after which increasing the film thickness had no effect on emissivity. Furthermore, it has been found that the substrate emissivity increases the amount of off-band radiation. This effect can be mitigated by controlling the film thickness.

Publication Title

Journal of Applied Physics

Volume

109

First Page

34306