Thermionic converters based on nanostructured carbon materials

Franz A.M. Koeck, Yunyu Wang, Robert J. Nemanich

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Thermionic energy converters are based on electron emission through thermal excitation and collection where the thermal energy is directly converted into electrical power. Conventional thermionic energy converters based on emission from planar metal emitters have been limited due to space charge. This paper presents a novel approach to thermionic energy conversion by focusing on nanostructured carbon materials, sulfur doped nanocrystalline diamond and carbon nanotube films as emitters. These materials exhibit intrinsic field enhancement which can be exploited in lowering the emission barrier, i.e. the effective work function. Moreover, emission from these materials is described in terms of emission sites as a result of a non-uniform spatial distribution of the field enhancement factor. This phenomenon can prove advantageous in a converter configuration to mitigate space charge effects by reducing the transit time of electrons in the gap due to an accelerated charge carrier transport.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSTAIF 2006
Subtitle of host publication10th Conf. on Thermophysics Applic. in Micrograv.; 23rd Symp. on Space Nucl. Power and Propulsion; 4th Conf.on Human/Robotic Technol. and the Nat. Vission for Space Explor. on Space Colon.
Pages607-613
Number of pages7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 20 2006
Externally publishedYes
EventSTAIF 2006: 10th Conf. on Thermophysics Applic. in Micrograv.; 23rd Symp. on Space Nucl. Power and Propulsion; 4th Conf. on Human/Robotic Technol. and the Nat. Vision for Space Explor.; 4th Symp. on Space Coloniz.; 3rd Symp.on New Front. and Future C - Albuquerque, NM, United States
Duration: Feb 12 2006Feb 16 2006

Publication series

NameAIP Conference Proceedings
Volume813
ISSN (Print)0094-243X
ISSN (Electronic)1551-7616

Conference

ConferenceSTAIF 2006: 10th Conf. on Thermophysics Applic. in Micrograv.; 23rd Symp. on Space Nucl. Power and Propulsion; 4th Conf. on Human/Robotic Technol. and the Nat. Vision for Space Explor.; 4th Symp. on Space Coloniz.; 3rd Symp.on New Front. and Future C
CountryUnited States
CityAlbuquerque, NM
Period2/12/062/16/06

Keywords

  • CVD
  • Diamond
  • Doping
  • Electron emission
  • Energy conversion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Thermionic converters based on nanostructured carbon materials'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this