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A new concept for solar energy thermal conversion

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3 Author(s)
Cuomo, J.J. ; IBM‐Research , Yorktown Heights, New York 10598 ; Ziegler, J.F. ; Woodall, J.M.

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A material has been developed which allows a new approach to be made to the conversion of solar energy to heat. It consists of a dense array of metal whiskers grown with spacings of a few wavelengths of visible light. The material selected has low emissivity, and achieves significant optical absorption by trapping the light by a geometric maze effect. We have deomonstrated that absorption of normal incidence light is greater than 98% from 0.5 to 40‐μm wavelengths, and hemispherical emissivity at 550 °C can be made less than 0.26. Since surfaces can be made of a single refractory element, such as W, high‐temperature solar conversion (550 °C) should be maintained with good surface stability.

Published in:

Applied Physics Letters  (Volume:26 ,  Issue: 10 )

Date of Publication:

May 1975

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