Abstract

A thermophotovoltaic system that converts thermal energy into electricity has considerable potential for applications in energy utilization fields. However, intensive emission in a wide spectral and angular range remains a challenge in improving system efficiency. This study proposes the use of a 2D trilayer grating with a tungsten/silica/tungsten (W/SiO2/W) structure on a tungsten substrate as a thermophotovoltaic emitter. The finite-difference time-domain method is employed to simulate the radiative properties of the proposed structure. A broadband high emittance with an average spectral emittance of 0.953 between 600 and 1800 nm can be obtained for both transverse magnetic and transverse electric polarized waves. On the basis of the inductance–capacitance circuit model and dispersion relation analyses, this phenomenon is mainly considered as the combined contribution of surface plasmon polaritons and magnetic polaritons. A parametric study is also conducted on the emittance spectrum of the proposed structure, considering geometric parameters, polar angles, and azimuthal angles for both TM and TE waves. The study demonstrates that the emitter has good wavelength selectivity and polarization insensitivity in a wide geometric and angular range.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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