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Frontiers in Energy

Front. Energy    2020, Vol. 14 Issue (3) : 482-509
Spectral emittance measurements of micro/nanostructures in energy conversion: a review
Shiquan SHAN1, Chuyang CHEN2, Peter G. LOUTZENHISER2, Devesh RANJAN2, Zhijun ZHOU3(), Zhuomin M. ZHANG2()
1. State Key Laboratory of Clean Energy Utilization, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027, China; George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta GA 30332, USA
2. George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta GA 30332, USA
3. State Key Laboratory of Clean Energy Utilization, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027, China
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Micro/nanostructures play a key role in tuning the radiative properties of materials and have been applied to high-temperature energy conversion systems for improved performance. Among the various radiative properties, spectral emittance is of integral importance for the design and analysis of materials that function as radiative absorbers or emitters. This paper presents an overview of the spectral emittance measurement techniques using both the direct and indirect methods. Besides, several micro/nanostructures are also introduced, and a special emphasis is placed on the emissometers developed for characterizing engineered micro/nanostructures in high-temperature applications (e.g., solar energy conversion and thermophotovoltaic devices). In addition, both experimental facilities and measured results for different materials are summarized. Furthermore, future prospects in developing instrumentation and micro/nanostructured surfaces for practical applications are also outlined. This paper provides a comprehensive source of information for the application of micro/nanostructures in high-temperature energy conversion engineering.

Keywords concentrating solar power (CSP)      emittance measurements      high temperature      micro/nanostructure      selective absorber      selective emitter      thermophotovoltaics (TPV)     
Corresponding Author(s): Zhijun ZHOU,Zhuomin M. ZHANG   
Online First Date: 28 August 2020    Issue Date: 14 September 2020
 Cite this article:   
Shiquan SHAN,Chuyang CHEN,Peter G. LOUTZENHISER, et al. Spectral emittance measurements of micro/nanostructures in energy conversion: a review[J]. Front. Energy, 2020, 14(3): 482-509.
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Shiquan SHAN
Chuyang CHEN
Zhijun ZHOU
Zhuomin M. ZHANG
Fig.1  Schematic diagram.
Fig.2  Schematic diagram of a high-temperature spectral emisso-meter (reprinted from Ref. [27] with permission).
Fig.3  Experimental setup of PTB for measuring the spectral directional emittance.
Fig.4  Schematic of the infrared spectral emittance characterization facility at NIST (reprinted from Ref. [24] with permission).
Fig.5  Optical layout of the high-temperature spectral emisso-meter at the Georgia Institute of Technology (reprinted from Ref. [25] with permission).
Fig.6  The vacuum emissiometry setup at the National Institute of Optics in Italy (reprinted from Ref. [26] with permission).
Detecting instrument Wavelength/μm Temperature/K Directionality Heating method Organization References
FTIR 4–40 353 to 673 Directional (5° to 70°) and hemispherical Electrical heater PTB (No. 1, Germany) [22,47]
FTIR 1–1000 273 to 703 Directional (0° to 70°) and hemispherical Bifilarly wound wire heater PTB (No. 2, Germany) [23,48]
FTIR 1–20 600 to 1400 Directional (0° to 75°) Cs and Na heat-pipe heater NIST (USA) [24,49]
FTIR 2–19 Up to 1000 Directional (0° to 60°) Electrical coil heater Georgia Institute of Technology (USA) [25,50]
FTIR 2.5–20 500 to 1200 Normal, 45° and 70°, and hemispherical Electric heating CNR-INO National Institute of Optics (Italy) [26]
FTIR 1.3–25 Ambient to 1050 Directional (0° to 80°) Electrical coil heater Universidad of the Basque Country (Spain) [27]
Monochromator (thermal detector) 0.8–2.2 473 to 1273 Normal Cast iron plate heater Henan Normal University (China) [39]
FTIR 1.3–29 Up to 1400 Directional (0° to 60°) Ceramic heater Harbin Institute of Technology (China) [43]
FTIR 2–25 1073 to 1873 Normal Flame torch/ tubular furnace Nanjing University of Science and Technology (China) [44]
Monochromator (photon detector) 2–15 473 to 1003 Directional (N/A) Electrical coil heater National Institute of Metrology (China) [51]
Spectroradiometer 0.6–40 1300 to 2500 Directional (0° to 80°) Solar furnace PROMES-CNRS (France) [52]
FTIR 8–14 173 to 213 Normal Refrigerator (cooling) Chinese Academy of Sciences (China) [53]
FTIR 1.4–26 550 to 1250 Normal Laser heating University of West Bohemia (Czech Republic) [54,55]
FTIR 5–25 325 to 405 Normal Solar-like halogen lamp Brown University (USA) [56]
FTIR 2–9 Up to 973 Normal Electrical heater University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA) [57]
FTIR 0.7–29 773 to 1273 Normal Blackbody radiator Ruhr-University Bochum (Germany) [58,59]
FTIR 0.8–8 1000 to 1700 Normal Oxygen-gas flame Tohoku University (Japan) [63,64]
FTIR 1.5–20 Up to 2226 Normal Oxy/acetylene torch Advanced Fuel Research Inc. (USA) [67]
FTIR 5–12 253 to 373 Normal Circulating fluid National Research Laboratory of Metrology (Japan) [68]
FTIR 1.6–22 373 to 1673 Normal Tantalum wire heater Tokai University (Japan) [69]
FTIR 2.5–25 323 to 773 Directional (0° to 50°) Electrical heater Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science (South Korea) [70]
FTIR 0.6–15 773 to 1623 Normal Electrical heater Bundeswehr University of Munich (Germany) [71]
FTIR 1–25 373 to 1473 Normal Electrical heater University of Duisburg-Essen (Germany) [72]
Tab.1  Summary of direct emittance measurement instruments
Fig.7  Schematic with details of the indirect measurement method at NIST (reprinted from Ref. [28] with permission).
Fig.8  Solar facility for optical properties characterization at PROMES laboratory (reprinted from Ref. [76] with permission).
Fig.9  Experimental setup for characterizing spectral normal optical properties with FTIR fiber optics technique at elevated temperatures (reprinted from Ref. [77] with permisssion).
Fig.10  Illustration of different micro/nanostructures.
Fig.11  Representative spectra for the spectral solar irradiance (AM1.5), blackbody emissive power at 1000 K, and the “ideal” absorptance/emittance spectrum for a solar absorber.
Fig.12  Spectral absorptance of an all-ceramic solar selective absorber.
Structure Materials Method and instrument Directionality Wavelength/μm Temperature/K Solar absorptance Thermal emittance* References
Multilayer TiAlNx/TiAlNy/Al2O3 Indirect (spectrophotometer and FTIR) Near-normal
(8° or 10°)
0.25–25 298 to 823 0.93 0.22 (823 K) [76]
Multilayer(cermet) SiO2/20%Mo:SiO2/
Direct (high accurate radiometer) Normal 1.5–25 423 to 873 0.9 0.02 (298 K) [90]
Multilayer (cermet) Si3N4/20%Mo:Si3N4/
Direct (high accurate radiometer) Normal 1.5–25 523 to 873 0.15 (300 K) [91]
Multilayer W/WAlN/WAlON/Al2O3 Direct (high accurate radiometer) Directional
(10° to 90°)
2–25 290 to 773 0.958 0.08 (355 K) [92]
Multilayer TiAlC/TiAlCN/TiAlSiC/
Indirect (spectrophotometer and FTIR) Near-normal
(8° or 10°)
0.25–25 353 to 773 0.96 0.15 (773 K) [93]
Multilayer Ti/SiO2 cascade optical cavities Indirect (VIS/NIR spectrometer) Near-normal 0.4–1.7 Room temperature 0.98 [94]
Multilayer TiN/TiNO/ZrO2/SiO2 Indirect (spectrophotometer and FTIR) Near-normal 0.3–15 Room temperature 0.922 0.17 (1000 K) [95]
Metamaterial Ti/MgF2/W Indirect (FTIR) Near-normal 0.4–20 298 to 623 0.9 0.2 [77]
Metamaterial W/Al2O3/W Indirect (spectrophotometer) Near-normal 0.3–2.5 293 to 1473 0.83 [96]
PhC HfO2 coated Ta 2D PhC Indirect (FTIR) Near-normal 0.3–3 Room temperature 0.86 0.26 (1000 K) [99]
PhC Al2O3 coated Ni nanopyramid array Indirect (spectrophotometer and FTIR) Near-normal 0.3–10 Room temperature 0.95 0.1 (298 K) [100]
Gratings/microcavities W cylindrical cavities or 2D pyramid gratings Indirect (spectrophotometer and FTIR) Near-normal 0.2–4.25 Room temperature 0.82 or
0.09 (800 K) or 0.17 (800 K) [101]
Tab.2  Summary of spectral selective solar absorbers
Fig.13  Metamaterial solar absorber.
Fig.14  Spectral EQE of an InAsSbP TPV cell, spectral emissive power of a blackbody at 1500 K, and the emittance spectra of ideal broadband and narrowband selective emitters.
Structure Materials Method and instrument Directionality Wavelength
Maximum normal emittance (wavelength location) References
Periodic grating Micro-grooved Si Direct (spectrometer) Directional
(0° to 80°)
2–14 573 and 673 About 0.9 (3 μm) [61]
Periodic grating Tungsten 2D grating Direct (FTIR) Directional
(0° and 30°)
1.0–5.0 1200 0.7 (1.6 μm) [105]
Periodic grating SiC 1D grating Direct (FTIR) Normal 9.5–13 773 0.9 (11.1 μm) [106]
Microcavity Pt-coated Si reverse-pyramid cavities Direct (FTIR) Normal 0.8–5 890 0.8 (1.6 μm) [63]
Microcavity Ti-coated Si rectangular cavities Direct (spectrometer) Normal 1–5 1073 0.8 (3.2 μm) [65]
Microcavity Ni rectangular cavities Direct (spectrometer) Normal 0.7–4 1000 0.95 (0.87 μm) [66]
Microcavity Cr-coated Si rectangular cavities Direct (FTIR) Directional
(0° to 15°)
3–25 750 About 0.6 (6–10 μm) [107]
Microcavity W rectangular cavities Direct (FTIR) Normal 0.6–4 Up to 1400 0.8 (1.25 μm) [108,109]
Microcavity Perovskite-type manganese thermochromic materials Indirect (FTIR) Near-normal 1.25–25.5 173 to 373 0.95 (4 μm) [111]
Microcavity Ag-coated Si microcavities Indirect (FTIR) Near-normal 3.6–25 Room temperature Near unity (8.87 μm, 5.63 μm, and 3.89 μm) [112]
Microcavity LSMO-coated silicon microcavity Indirect (FTIR) Near-normal 2.5–25 97 to 373 Near unity (6.5 μm) [113]
Multilayer Fabry-Perot cavity resonator Direct (FTIR) Directional
(0° to 30°)
2–20 294, 600, and 800 About 0.8 (4.5 μm, 2.27 μm) [25]
Metamaterial Au-grating/SiO2/Au on Si substrate Direct (FTIR) Directional
(0° to 30°)
3.33–10 700 and 750 0.8 (7.69 μm), 0.6 (4.17 μm) [50]
Metamaterial SiC metasurfaces (2D-grooved) Indirect (FTIR+ microscope) Near-normal 8–13 Room temperature 0.8 (12 μm) [78]
Metamaterial Pt-pattern/Al2O3/Pt on sapphire substrate Indirect (FTIR+ microscope) Near-normal 0.8–3.5 Room temperature Near unity (1.5 μm) [114]
1D PhC SiO2/Si3N4 1D-PhC on Ag Indirect (FTIR) Directional
0.85–1.1 Room temperature 0.6 (0.975 μm) [117,118]
2D PhC W cylindrical hole array Indirect (FTIR) Near-normal 1–3 Room temperature Near unity (1.5 μm) [87]
2D PhC Ta cylindrical hole array Indirect (FTIR) Near-normal 1.4–3 Room temperature Near unity (1.9 μm) [88]
2D PhC HfO2-coated Ta cylindrical hole array Indirect (FTIR) Near-normal 0.3–3 Room temperature Near unity (1.9 μm) [99]
2D PhC Ta-W alloy cylindrical hole array Indirect (FTIR) Near-normal 1.4–3 Room temperature Near unity (2 μm) [115,116]
3D PhC Ni woodpile structure Direct (FTIR) Normal 2–14 600, 700 and 800 0.65 (3 μm) [120]
3D PhC Pt-coated silicon scaffold Direct (FTIR) Directional
(0° to 75°)
1.8–10.2 889 and 939 Near unity (2.5 μm) [122]
Tab.3  Summary of spectral selective TPV emitters
Fig.15  Measured spectral emittance of microcavities.
Fig.16  (a) Schematic of the fabricated Fabry-Perot cavity resonator; (b) and (c) the emittance spectra for TE and TM waves, respectively, at different temperatures for θ= 30°; (d) schematic of the metamaterial emitter made of a gold grating and SiO2 spacer on an optically opaque Au film; (e) emittance measured with a DTGS detector; (f) emittance measured with an InSb detector for TM wave at 700 K for different zenith angles (adapted with permission from Ref. [25] for (a, b, c); and from Ref. [50] for (d, e, f)).
Fig.17  SEM images.
Cf Solar concentration factor
C1 First radiation constant
C2 Second radiation constant
E Emissive power/(W?m2)
Eλ Spectral emissive power/(W?m2?mm1)
G0 Total solar irradiance/(W?m2)
Gλ Spectral solar irradiance/(W?m2?mm1)
I Radiation intensity/(W?m2?sr1)
Iλ Spectral intensity/(W?m2?sr1?mm1)
T Temperature/K
Greek symbols
α Absorptance
ε Emittance
η Efficiency
θ Zenith angle/(°)
Λ Period of nanostructure/μm
λ Wavelength/μm
ρ Reflectance
σ Stefen-Boltzmann constant
ψ Azimuthal angle
a Absorber
b Blackbody
θ Directional
λ Spectral
CSP Concentrating solar power
EQE External quantum efficiency
FTIR Fourier-transform infrared (spectrometer)
PhC Photonic crystal
PV Photovoltaic
TPV Thermophotovoltaic(s)
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