Polymer Science Faculty Research

Erbia-containing electrospun titania nanofibers as selective emitters for low temperature thermophotovoltaic energy conversion

Darrell Reneker, The University of Akron


Tetraisopropyl titanate (TPT) has been mixed with a soluion of polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) and electrospun into nanofibers. The PVP is pyrolyzed, leaving nanofibers of rutile phase titania as shown by scanning electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction analysis. In order to obtain erbia containing titania nanofibers, erbium(III) oxide particles are added to the solution before electrospinning. After pyrolysis the titania nanofibers encapsulate the smaller erbia particles. Temperature-dependent emission spectra show that the erbia containing nanofibers emit selectively in the near-infrared when convectionally heated. The electrical power generated by a GaSb photodetector placed in line-of-sight geometry with respect to the heated nanofibers is also measured as a function of temperature. These nanofibers have potential as selective emitters for low temperature ( less than 600 degrees Celcius) thermophotovoltaic applications. *Corresponding author: rex@uakron.edu Presenting author: Randy Teye-Mensah