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Energy materials


Advances in thermophotovoltaics: materials, devices and systems

An analysis of the scientific literature indicates a revival of research on thermophotovoltaics, boosted by the development of systems for converting waste or stored heat into electrical power. The symposium will provide an interdisciplinary platform for sharing the latest advances in the field.


Thermophotovoltaics (TPV) refers to thermal to electrical power conversion based on the photovoltaic effect. It is suited for thermal sources operating at temperatures near or above 1000 K, such as waste or stored heat recovery, or solar energy conversion involving an intermediate thermal energy storage. Given the huge potentials of these systems, and recent progresses in high-temperature materials science, photonics, growth and processing of III-V semiconductors, a renaissance of research on thermophotovoltaics has taken place over the last decade. The challenges to tackle are indeed multiple, for designing, fabricating and testing new materials, devices and systems for TPV applications. In this context, the symposium will cover recent advances in areas relevant to the field: selective emitters to tailor the spectrum of radiation useful to photovoltaic conversion and their thermal stability; optimum materials and architectures of the photovoltaic cells and their fabrication and characterization; laboratory experiments assessing the performances of devices and systems; assessment of optical, electrical and thermal losses and their mitigation; new concepts for improving efficiency including hybridization with other thermal-to-electrical power converters; solar-TPV, TPV for space, near-field TPV systems; thermophotonic power generation and cooling, scaling-up of research prototypes. It is expected that the symposium will facilitate networking in this field through the establishment of exchanges across multiple disciplines in physics and engineering.

Hot topics to be covered by the symposium:

  • Tailored spectral thermal emission: photonic crystals, resonant emitters, metamaterials, etc.
  • Tailored spectral reflection and transmission: optical filters and reflectors, plasmonics, etc.
  • High temperature emitters: fabrication and characterization
  • Infrared semiconductors: III-V, quantum nanostructures, etc.
  • Thermophotovoltaic devices: design, fabrication and characterization
  • Thermophotovoltaic applications: solar, space, waste heat recovery, energy storage, etc.
  • Novel concepts: near-field thermophotovoltaics, thermo-photonics, hybrid devices, etc.
  • Competing technologies: thermionics and thermoelectrics
  • Market assessment and exploitation

List of invited speakers:

  • P. Bermel (USA): Stable, flexible, and scalable thin-film silicon-based selective thermal emitters
  • R. Cariou (France): Recent advances in III-V materials, process and solar cells devices - opportunities for TPV applications
  • Y-B. Chen (China): Patterned and lightly-doped silicon wafers for thermophotovoltaic emitters
  • M. Eich (Germany): Metamaterial and particle based selective emitters for thermophotovoltaics
  • L. Fraas (JX Crystals Inc, USA): Light-weight fuel fired TPV DC cylindrical generator
  • B. Hubert (MTPV Power Corporation, USA): Commercially-relevant thermophotovoltaic systems in the modern era
  • T. Inoue (Japan): Far-field and near-field thermophotovoltaic systems based on intrinsic silicon thermal emitters
  • B-J. Lee (Republic of Korea): Towards the development of near-field thermophotovoltaic device operating at experimentally achievable gaps
  • A. Lenert (USA): Control of photon-recycling phenomena in radiation-limited thermophotovoltaic cells
  • H. Linke (Sweden): Hot-carrier photovoltaics in heterostructure nanowires
  • Y. Okada (Japan): Thermal up-conversion of sub-bandgap photons in quantum nanostructures for photovoltaics
  • J. Oksanen (Finland): Thermophotonic cooling - thermophotovoltaics on steroids
  • I. Rey-Stolle (Spain): MOVPE growth and device design of TPV converters based on Ge and III-V arsenides and phosphides
  • V. Stelmakh (USA): A photonic crystal enabled practical thermophotovtaic portable power generator
  • R. St-Gelais (Canada): Progress towards MEMS-controlled near-field thermophotovoltaic energy conversion
  • M.C. Gupta (USA): Micro/Nanostructure-based selective absorber and emitter surfaces for high-efficiency solar thermophotovoltaic applications
  • Z. Zhang (USA): Impact of photon entropy and chemical potential on thermophotovoltaic generators

List of scientific committee members:

  • R. Alcubilla (Universidad Politécnica de Cataluña, Spain)
  • C. Algora (IES-UPM, Spain)
  • P. Bermel (Purdue University, USA)
  • W. Chan (MIT, USA)
  • D. Chubb (NASA, USA)
  • Y. Cuminal (IES-U. Montpellier, France)
  • P.-O. Chapuis (CNRS, France)
  • J. Drevillon (Institut Pprime, France)
  • L. Fraas (JX Crystals, USA)
  • M. A. Green (UNSW, Australia)
  • K. Hanamura (Tokyo Inst. of Technology, Japan)
  • B-J. Lee (KAIST, Republic of Korea)
  • A. Martí (IES-UPM, Spain)
  • K. Park (Univ. Utah, USA)
  • P. Reddy (U. Michigan, USA)
  • E. Tournié (IES-U. Montpellier, France)
  • D. Trucchi (CNR - Institute of Structure of Matter, Italy)
  • E. Yablonovitch (University of California, Berkeley, USA)
  • H. Yugami (Tohoku University, Japan)
  • Z. Zhang (Georgia Tech, USA)


In parallel to the Symposium, Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells is publishing a special issue with the same title as the Symposium. Submissions to the special issue will be open from March 1st 2021 to July 1st 2021. All submissions will be subject to the quality standards and peer review process of the journal. It is expected to have the full special issue published by December 1st, 2021. Early view of papers will be available online as soon as they are accepted.

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Symposium organizers
Alejandro DATASTechnical University of Madrid

Instituto de Energía Solar, Avda. Complutense, 30, 28040, Madrid, Spain

+34 910672554
Makoto SHIMIZUTohoku University

Aoba 6-6-01, Aramaki, Aoba-ku, Sendai, 980-8579, Japan

+ 81 022 795 6925
Mathieu FRANCOEURUniversity of Utah

1495 E 100 S (1550 MEK) - SLC UT 84112, USA

+1 801 581 5721
Rodolphe VAILLON (Main)Univ. Montpellier, CNRS

Institut d’Electronique et des Systèmes - 860, rue Saint Priest - Bâtiment 5 - CC 05001 - 34095 Montpellier Cedex 5, France

+33 (0)4 67 14 32 27