Date of Award

Spring 1999

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering - (M.S.)

Department

Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

N. M. Ravindra

Second Advisor

Kenneth Sohn

Third Advisor

Edwin Hou

Fourth Advisor

Oktay H. Gokce

Abstract

The objective of this thesis is to study the radiative properties of materials of interest in the infrared range of wavelengths. In particular, three distinct materials have been considered here - Erbium oxide, alumina and quartz. Erbium oxide has unique selective line emission, which gives a high emittance at a particular wavelength and low emittance in the rest of the infrared spectrum. It has applications in the design and development of thermophotovoltaic (TPV) generators. Because of its selective emission properties, erbium oxide assists in concentrating the radiant energy into a narrow band near the bandgap energy of the TPV cell, and this results in an efficient energy conversion. Lucalox and sapphire which are JR transparent materials are used as selective absorbers for increasing the efficiency of TPV generators. A novel spectral emissometer has been utilized for measurement of the temperature dependent radiative properties of erbium oxide, sapphire and lucalox. The experimental results presented in this thesis showed that the measurement of high temperature optical properties of these materials can be performed reliably with a novel non-contact, real-time approach using the spectral emissometer. The emissivity of erbium oxide is observed to be low and constant in the wavelength range of 2 to 5 microns and at various temperatures studied. Sapphire and lucalox exhibit almost similar characteristics in 1 to 3.3 micron region. All the materials investigated in this thesis are potential candidates for gate dielectrics in MOS technology.

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