Directing near-infrared photon transport with core@shell particles

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Directing the propagation of near-infrared radiation is a major concern in improving the efficiency of solar cells and thermal insulators. A facile approach to scatter light in the near-infrared region without excessive heating is to embed compact layers with semiconductor particles. The directional scattering by semiconductor@oxide (core@shell) spherical particles (containing Si, InP, TiO2, SiO2, or ZrO2) with a total radius varying from 0.1 μm to 4.0 μm and in an insulating medium at a low volume fraction is investigated using Lorenz-Mie theory and multiscale modeling. The optical response of each layer is calculated under irradiation by the Sun or a blackbody emitter at 1180 K. Reflectance efficiency factors of up to 83.7% and 63.9% are achieved for near-infrared solar and blackbody radiation in 200 μm thick compact layers with only 1% volume fraction of bare Si particles with a radius of 0.23 μm and 0.50 μm, respectively. The maximum solar and blackbody efficiency factors of layers containing InP particles were slightly less (80.2% and 60.7% for bare particles with a radius of 0.25 μm and 0.60 μm, respectively). The addition of an oxide coating modifies the surrounding dielectric environment, which improves the solar reflectance efficiency factor to over 90%, provided it matches the scattering mode energies with the incident spectral density. The layers are spectrally sensitive and can be applied as a back or front reflector for solar devices, high temperature thermal insulators, and optical filters in gradient heat flux sensors for fire safety applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number095128
Number of pages11
JournalAIP Advances
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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