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Thermovoltaic semiconductor device including a plasma filter

United States Patent

5,959,239
September 28, 1999
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
U.S. Department of Energy - Visit the Office of the Assistant General Counsel for Technology Transfer & Intellectual Property Website
A thermovoltaic energy conversion device and related method for converting thermal energy into an electrical potential. An interference filter is provided on a semiconductor thermovoltaic cell to pre-filter black body radiation. The semiconductor thermovoltaic cell includes a P/N junction supported on a substrate which converts incident thermal energy below the semiconductor junction band gap into electrical potential. The semiconductor substrate is doped to provide a plasma filter which reflects back energy having a wavelength which is above the band gap and which is ineffectively filtered by the interference filter, through the P/N junction to the source of radiation thereby avoiding parasitic absorption of the unusable portion of the thermal radiation energy.
Baldasaro; Paul F. (Clifton Park, NY)
The United States of America as represented by the United States (Washington, DC)
08/ 867,064
June 2, 1997
GOVERNMENT RIGHTS This subject matter is pursuant to a U.S. Department of Energy contract.