Spectrally selective absorbers (SSA) with high selectivity of absorption and sharp cut-off between high absorptivity and low emissivity are critical for efficient solar energy conversion. Here, we report the semiconductor nanowire enabled SSA with not only high absorption selectivity but also temperature dependent sharp absorption cut-off. By taking advantage of the temperature dependent bandgap of semiconductors, we systematically demonstrate that the absorption cut-off profile of the semiconductor-nanowire-based SSA can be flexibly tuned, which is quite different from most of the other SSA reported so far. As an example, silicon nanowire based selective absorbers are fabricated, with the measured absorption efficiency above (below) bandgap ∼97% (15%) combined with an extremely sharp absorption cut-off (transition region ∼200 nm), the sharpest SSA demonstrated so far. The demonstrated semiconductor-nanowire-based SSA can enable a high solar thermal efficiency of ≥86% under a wide range of operating conditions, which would be competitive candidates for the concentrated solar energy utilizations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)