A highly directional thermal emitter device comprises a two-dimensional periodic array of heavily doped semiconductor structures on a surface of a substrate. The array provides a highly directional thermal emission at a peak wavelength between 3 and 15 microns when the array is heated. For example, highly doped silicon (HDSi) with a plasma frequency in the mid-wave infrared was used to fabricate nearly perfect absorbing two-dimensional gratings structures that function as highly directional thermal radiators. The absorption and emission characteristics of the HDSi devices possessed a high degree of angular dependence for infrared absorption in the 10-12 micron range, while maintaining high reflectivity of solar radiation (.about.64%) at large incidence angles.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST
This invention was made with Government support under contract no. DE-AC04-94AL85000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to Sandia Corporation. The Government has certain rights in the invention.