A solar thermal photovoltaic device, and method of forming same, includes a solar absorber and a spectrally selective emitter formed on either side of a thermally conductive substrate. The solar absorber is configured to absorb incident solar radiation. The solar absorber and the spectrally selective emitter are configured with an optimized emitter-to-absorber area ratio. The solar thermal photovoltaic device also includes a photovoltaic cell in thermal communication with the spectrally selective emitter. The spectrally selective emitter is configured to permit high emittance for energies above a bandgap of the photovoltaic cell and configured to permit low emittance for energies below the bandgap.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
 This invention was made with Government support under Contract Nos. DE-SC0001299 and DE-FG02-09ER46577 awarded by the Department of Energy and under Contract No. W911NF-13-D-0001 awarded by the Army Research Office. The Government has certain rights in the invention.