An optical coating like no other

Nanowerk  February 5, 2021
An international team of researchers (USA – University of Rochester, Case western University, Italy) applied a 15 nanometer-thick film of germanium to a metal surface resulting in a surface capable absorbing a broad band of wavelengths. Combining it with a cavity that supports a narrowband resonance resulted in coupled cavities that exhibit Fano resonance that can reflect a very narrow band of light. The semi-transparent Fano resonance optical coationgs (FROCs) can transmit and reflect the same colour as a beam splitter filter. FROCs can spectrally and spatially separate the thermal and photovoltaic bands of the solar spectrum, presenting a possible solution to the dispatchability problem in photovoltaics, that is, the inability to dispatch solar energy on demand. The solar thermal device exhibited power generation of up to 50% and low photovoltaic cell temperatures (~30 °C), which could lead to a six-fold increase in the photovoltaic cell lifetime. FROCs could be used to separate thermal and photovoltaic bands of the solar spectrum improving the effectiveness of devices that use hybrid thermal-electric power generation as a solar energy option…read more. TECHNICAL ARTICLE 

Demonstration and properties of Fano-resonant optical coatings. Credit: Nature Nanotechnology (2021)

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