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Grad Student Dante DeMeo Wins First Prize for Research on Thermophotovoltaics

November 12, 2010

Doctoral candidate Dante DeMeo won first prize in the student poster competition at the 57th American Vacuum Society Symposium for his construction of a test apparatus that will enable future research into low-temperature thermophotovoltaics and other optoelectronic devices. DeMeo works in Assistant Professor Tom Vandervelde's REAP lab.

Thermophotovoltaics (TPV) is the process of converting infrared electromagnetic radiation into electricity. Strained Layer Superlattices allow TPV devices to operate at longer wavelengths. In order to determine the performance of these devices, a unique test apparatus was designed and constructed. Here, we present a custom, cryogenic vacuum chamber specifically designed to test long wavelength TPV cells. The tester utilizes two copper heat shields cooled via conduction with two liquid nitrogen reservoirs to block outside thermal radiation. A blackbody source illuminates a temperature controlled sample at high vacuum, ~10-6 Torr. The chamber is also connected to multiple thermocouples and a source-meter for measurement and testing purposes. This test apparatus will enable future research into low temperature TPV and other optoelectronic devices.