A sub-micron-thick selective multilayer solar thermal absorber made of tungsten, SiO2 and Si3N4 multilayer thin films was theoretically designed and experimentally demonstrated in this work. The optical performance was optimized by the particle swarm optimization algorithm for this multilayer absorber, whose spectral selectivity is associated with the Fabry-Perot resonance and anti-reflection effects. The designed multilayer absorber was deposited by sputtering and chemical vapor deposition techniques on the wafer scale. Its spectral absorptance characterized by a Fourier Transform Infrared spectrometer (FTIR) was demonstrated to be greater than 0.95 in the solar spectrum and less than 0.1 emittance in the mid-infrared with angular insensitivity. Temperature dependent FTIR measurements with an optical fiber setup revealed stable optical performance up to 600 °C in ambient, while thermal cycle testing showed its long-term thermal stability at 400 °C. Theoretical analysis of solar to power efficiency for a Carnot heat engine driven by the Solar heat was performed, which clearly shows that the proposed ultrathin selective multilayer absorber with spectral selectivity, angular insensitivity as well as high temperature stability could significantly boost the conversion efficiency of solar thermal systems at mid to high temperatures.
- Selective absorber
- Solar thermal
- Thermal stability
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films