SC03–Modeling Efficiency of InAs-Based Near-Field Thermophotovoltaic Devices

Enormous potential lies in waste-heat recycling for the world’s industrial sector. Portable solid-state modules are a universal low-maintenance method to recycle this waste-heat. One such technology, near-field thermophotovoltaics (NFTPV), relies on a heat source in extreme proximity (<200 nm) to a photovoltaic cell, which then generates electricity. We developed an optoelectronic model where electron-hole pair generation rates are calculated using fluctuation electrodynamics, which we input into an electrical model based in Synopsys TCAD Sentaurus. Using our optoelectronic model, we optimized a novel InAs-based NFTPV device for a 700 K radiator 100 nm away from the PV cell with an efficiency reaching ~17%, more than an order of magnitude higher than current NFTPV device efficiencies.

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