An ideal solar-thermal absorber requires efficient selective absorption with a tunable bandwidth, excellent thermal conductivity and stability, and a simple structure for effective solar thermal energy conversion. Despite various solar absorbers having been demonstrated, these conditions are challenging to achieve simultaneously using conventional materials and structures. Here, we propose and demonstrate three-dimensional structured graphene metamaterial (SGM) that takes advantages of wavelength selectivity from metallic trench like structures and broadband dispersion less nature and excellent thermal conductivity from the ultrathin graphene metamaterial film. The SGM absorbers exhibit superior solar selective and omnidirectional absorption, flexible tunability of wavelength selective absorption, excellent photothermal performance, and high thermal stability. Impressive solar-to-thermal conversion efficiency of 90.1% and solar-to-vapor efficiency of 96.2% have been achieved. These superior properties of the SGM absorber suggest it has a great potential for practical applications of solar thermal energy harvesting and manipulation.
This paper was titled “Structured graphene metamaterial selective absorbers for high efficiency and omnidirectional solar thermal energy conversion” and published on Nature Communications. The first author is Dr. Keng-Te Lin.