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Ultrabroad band light absorption material with a high photothermic conversion

Researchers from the CSIC and the ICN2-BIST have developed a flexible metamaterial that has an ultrabroadband optical absorption range and a high photothermal conversion efficiency. It transforms into heat the 84% of the absorbed light on average. With applications on energy, it can be easily fixed on flat and curved surfaces.


This polymer has an ultrabroad band light absorption and transforms light into heat.The developed metamaterial exploits the plasmonic properties of abundant and cost-effective nanostructured materials (such as iron, titanium and nickel in combination with plastic films), which can achieve an ultra-broadband absorption range from the UV to the far infrared. The flexibility of the metamaterial makes possible to fix it straightforward to any flat or curved surface.

The material can absorb light from wavelengths from to 360 nm to 18000 nanometres and has a high photothermic conversion (84% on average). It is a promising material as its absorption range is much wider than the conventional in solar panels, which usually goes from 400 to 1200 nanometres.
Besides, its conversion efficiency is 2-fold higher than other common plasmonic materials (for instance, gold, silver and aluminium) and at much lower cost. Another advantage is that absorption doesn’t change when the angle between the light and the absorbing surface changes, which is a usual factor that reduces efficiency in other materials.

All these characteristics make of this material a good option as a solar panel, radiation sensors, photothermic energy and flexible thermoelectric.

Due that is a flexible material, it can be attached on virtually any surface. It can be used to transform light into heat for energy obtention, for improving catalytic applications, and for non-cooled detectors, as it can withstand high temperatures.

The material is a good alternative for solar panels, radiation sensors, photothermic energy and flexible thermoelectric

It can be applied also for photothermic actuators, devices that transform energy into movement. And for ocular prosthesis to replace or simulate the pupil or the iris, for the treatment of eye diseases such as Aniridia -chronic disease characterized by the absence of iris. As a matter of fact, the scientific team has been working on a dynamic iris prototype that adapts to light and simulates the real response of the human eye.

Due to its ferromagnetic properties, this material can simultaneously response to light and to magnetic fields, which can be used for other electronics applications.

The scientific team is interested in establishing agreements with manufacturing companies working in solar thermal energy, energy harvesting, or mechanical actuators to collaborate and exploit the existing know-how through a patent license agreement.

Contact:

Isabel Gavilanes-Pérez, PhD.
Deputy Vice-Presidency
for Knowledge Transfer-CSIC

Tel.: +34 – 93 594 77 00
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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