You’ve probably heard of photovoltaic cells, used to provide solar power, but what about thermophotovoltaic cells? Not yet in common use, these cells utilize heat from infrared radiation to generate electricity and could potentially provide energy more efficiently than the solar cells we currently use. Best of all, they continue working in the dark. Scientists at Australian National University and the University of California, Berkeley recently engineered a new metamaterial that could revolutionize thermophotovoltaic cells.
Lead researcher Sergey Kruk first speculated this particular metamaterial could provide great advantages for thermophotovoltaic cells, and teamed up with scientists at Berkeley because of their expertise in making metamaterials. The result is a metamaterial that could be used specifically as an emitter to vastly improve efficiency in thermophotovoltaic cells.
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