Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 10, 2012
Previous Article Next Article

Recent developments in high-temperature photonic crystals for energy conversion

Author affiliations


After decades of intense studies focused on cryogenic and room temperature nanophotonics, scientific interest is also growing in high-temperature nanophotonics aimed at solid-state energy conversion. These latest extensive research efforts are spurred by a renewed interest in high temperature thermal-to-electrical energy conversion schemes including thermophotovoltaics (TPV), solar–thermophotovoltaics, solar–thermal, and solar–thermochemical energy conversion systems. This field is profiting tremendously from the outstanding degree of control over the thermal emission properties that can be achieved with nanoscale photonic materials. The key to obtaining high efficiency in this class of high temperature energy conversion is the spectral and angular matching of the radiation properties of an emitter to those of an absorber. Together with the achievements in the field of high-performance narrow bandgap photovoltaic cells, the ability to tailor the radiation properties of thermal emitters and absorbers using nanophotonics facilitates a route to achieving the impressive efficiencies predicted by theoretical studies. In this review, we will discuss the possibilities of emission tailoring by nanophotonics in the light of high temperature thermal-to-electrical energy conversion applications, and give a brief introduction to the field of TPV. We will show how a class of large area 2D metallic photonic crystals can be designed and employed to efficiently control and tailor the spectral and angular emission properties, paving the way towards new and highly efficient thermophotovoltaic systems and enabling other energy conversion schemes based on high-performance high-temperature nanoscale photonic materials.

Graphical abstract: Recent developments in high-temperature photonic crystals for energy conversion

Back to tab navigation

Publication details

The article was received on 02 Jul 2012, accepted on 14 Aug 2012 and first published on 24 Aug 2012

Article type: Review Article
DOI: 10.1039/C2EE22731B
Citation: Energy Environ. Sci., 2012,5, 8815-8823
  •   Request permissions

    Recent developments in high-temperature photonic crystals for energy conversion

    V. Rinnerbauer, S. Ndao, Y. X. Yeng, W. R. Chan, J. J. Senkevich, J. D. Joannopoulos, M. Soljačić and I. Celanovic, Energy Environ. Sci., 2012, 5, 8815
    DOI: 10.1039/C2EE22731B

Search articles by author