Industry News

Researchers to Develop High-performance Nanostructured Coating for DOE's SunShot Program

Published on 2012-06-18. Author : SpecialChem

The University of California San Diego, under the 2012 SunShot Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) R&D funding opportunity announcement (FOA), is developing a new low-cost and scalable process for fabricating spectrally selective coatings (SSCs) to be used in solar absorbers for high-temperature CSP systems.


The research team is working to demonstrate a refractory, nanoparticle-based coating that can achieve an effective solar absorptance greater than 94% and an effective infrared emittance lower than 7% at 750°C. This enables high thermal conversion efficiencies (≥ 90%) and increased temperature ranges for heat-transfer fluids (≥ 650°C). The goals of this project are to:

  • Fabricate refractory semiconductor nanoparticles, as well as surface-protected semiconductor nanoparticles by scalable synthesis techniques, and then spray-coat them in ambient atmosphere onto an absorber metal surface
  • Model and measure optical and thermal properties, such as solar absorptance and infrared emittance
  • Achieve high-temperature durability by using modified semiconductors, refractory nanoparticles, ceramic matrix nanocomposites, and high-temperature annealing.


This research employs the novel use of surface-protected semiconductor nanoparticles, which are fabricated by a highly scalable particle synthesis method with desired size distributions. By engineering the material properties and morphologies of the nanoparticle coating, the proposed SSCs simultaneously possess the metrics of high performance, low cost, and high-temperature durability.

About SunShot

The DOE SunShot Initiative aims to dramatically decrease the total costs of solar energy systems by 75% before the end of the decade. Reaching this goal will make solar energy cost-competitive with conventional forms of electricity without subsidies and enable widespread deployment across the United States.

About UCSD

UC San Diego is an academic powerhouse and economic engine, recognized as one of the top 10 public universities by U.S. News and World Report. Innovation is central to who they are and what they do. Here, students learn that knowledge isn't just acquired in the classroom - life is their laboratory.

Source: U.S. Department of Energy

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