Thermophotovoltaics and Carbon Nanotube Based Supercapacitors

John G. Kassakian, Laboratory for Electromagnetic and Electronic Systems, MIT

Friday, October 26, 2007

Spanos Auditorium

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This seminar is part of the Jones Seminars on Science, Technology, and Society series

Thermophotovoltaic (TPV) systems are similar to solarphotovoltaics except that the incident radiation is created by burning a fuel (e.g., propane) to heat an emitter to a temperature in the vicinity of 1300K. Wavelength selective mirrors and emitter structures are used to match the spectrum of the incident radiation to the bandgap of the photodiodes. Supercapacitors are energy storage devices exploiting the electrical double-layer to achieve capacitances on the order of 100s of Farads. They are more accurately referred to as "double-layer capacitors" (DLCs). The use of carbon nanotube (CNT) based electrodes shows promise of achieving energy densities comparable to electrochemical batteries, with much greater power densities. This talk describes the fabrication of nanostructured tungsten emitters and dielectric stack selective mirrors for use in advanced TPV systems, and the potential performance of nanotube based supercapacitors. The experimental performance of these photonic crystal TPV devices and the current state of our work to produce DLC electrodes using carbon nanotubes will be presented.

About the Speaker

John Kassakian is Director of the MIT Laboratory for Electromagnetic and Electronic Systems. He received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from MIT, and prior to joining the MIT faculty, served a tour of duty in the US Navy. He is the Founding President of the IEEE Power Electronics Society, and is the recipient of the IEEE Centennial Medal, the IEEE William E. Newell Award, the IEEE Power Electronics Society's Distinguished Service Award, and the IEEE Millennium Medal. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He has published extensively in the areas of power electronics, education and automotive electrical systems, and is a co-author of the textbook Principles of Power Electronics.