Physicists have created the perfect metal absorber for solar energy

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Physicists have created the perfect metal absorber for solar energy

Using powerful femtosecond laser pulses, scientists etched nanostructures on a metal surface that selectively absorb light only from the solar spectrum..

Ordinary metal surfaces are shiny and reflect light well. Previously, a team from the University of Rochester developed a technology to make the surface of metals black, but this still did not allow for maximum absorption efficiency..

Now they have presented a selective option that not only absorbs light better, but also reduces heat dissipation at other wavelengths. According to physicists, such a metal is «ideal absorber of solar energy», since it allows you to collect it using a thermoelectric generator.

Physicists have created the perfect metal absorber for solar energy

In the course of experiments, the researchers found that from aluminum, copper, steel and tungsten, the latter has the best efficiency in absorbing sunlight after laser treatment. In this case, the etching of nanostructures increases the generation of thermal energy by 130% compared to untreated metal..

This technology also allows you to change the natural color of the metal not only to black, but also to others, for example, blue, gold or gray..

We also previously reported on the invention of a flexible metal material that is half the weight of paper..

text: Ilya Bauer, photo and video: University of Rochester