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Published July 9, 2018 | Supplemental Material + Published + Submitted
Journal Article Open

Extremely broadband ultralight thermally-emissive optical coatings


We report the design, fabrication, and characterization of ultralight highly emissive structures with a record-low mass per area that emit thermal radiation efficiently over a broad spectral (2 to 30 microns) and angular (0–60°) range. The structures comprise one to three pairs of alternating metallic and dielectric thin films and have measured effective 300 K hemispherical emissivity of 0.7 to 0.9 (inferred from angular measurements which cover a bandwidth corresponding to 88% of 300K blackbody power). To our knowledge, these micron-scale-thickness structures, are the lightest reported optical coatings with comparable infrared emissivity. The superior optical properties, together with their mechanical flexibility, low outgassing, and low areal mass, suggest that these coatings are candidates for thermal management in applications demanding of ultralight flexible structures, including aerospace applications, ultralight photovoltaics, lightweight flexible electronics, and textiles for thermal insulation.

Additional Information

© 2018 Optical Society of America under the terms of the OSA Open Access Publishing Agreement. Received 16 Mar 2018; revised 30 May 2018; accepted 30 May 2018; published 5 Jul 2018. We acknowledge all those who supported this research, in particular Lynn Rodman of Nexolve for providing materials and guidance in fabricating the thin polyimide layers. We also thank Mark Kruer, George Rossman, Laura Kim, Victoria Chernow, Michelle Sherrot and Will Whitney for assisting with emissivity measurements; Dagny Fleischman, Rebecca Glaudell, Cristofer Flowers and Rebecca Saive for their support during the fabrication and measurements; and Colton Bukowsky and Krishnan Thyagarajan for technical discussions. We thank a reviewer for his comment on the manuscripts which helped us improve it. Funding: Northrop Grumman Corporation and the Caltech Space Solar Power Project; Emily Warmann and Harry Atwater were partially supported by the DOE "Light-Material Interactions in Energy Conversion' Energy Frontier Research Center under grant DE-SC0001293. Ali Naqavi acknowledges support from the Swiss Science National Foundation.

Attached Files

Published - oe-26-14-18545.pdf

Submitted - 1710.02911.pdf

Supplemental Material - n_k_e1_e2_tables__model_parameters_20180418.xlsx


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August 19, 2023
October 18, 2023