All Thayer Events

PhD Thesis Proposal: Can Xu



9:30am - 11:00am ET


For info on how to attend this video conference, please email

Spinel-Structure Based Transition Metal Oxide Nanoparticle (NP) Pigmented Solar Selective Coating with High Thermal Efficiency and High-Temperature Thermal Stability


Concentrating solar power (CSP) system is a green technology capable of storing the energy absorbed from sunlight and later converting it into other forms. Being one indispensable component, solar selective coating (SSC) is to help enhance the solar absorbance and reduce the infrared (IR) emittance loss. However, current coatings cannot maintain a high-level thermal efficiency (>90%) when suffering high-temperature (750C) and long-time operation if fabricated in a cost-effective method. In our preliminary work, we have obtained MnFe2O4-pigmented solar selective absorbing coating with a thermal efficiency of 87% at a temperature of 750C and solar concentration ratio of 1000. To enhance the performance of solar selective coating, we reported spinel-structure based transition metal oxide NPs pigmented silicone solar selective coatings on Inconel. Cu-Mn-Fe, Ni-Mn-Fe and Cu-Mn-Cr system were compared and we achieved a record-high thermal efficiency up to 94.2%, with a solar absorbance of 97.9% and a thermal emittance of 59.4% a temperature of 750C and solar concentration ratio of 1000. After 720h isothermal annealing at 750C, the coatings showed superior stability with a thermal efficiency up to 94.0% and little change was observed from the surface morphology or crystal structure of coatings. In the future, we will study the mechanism and optimize the system based on first-principles approach and four-flux radiative transfer model. An aluminum oxide based cermet structure will also be investigated to further decrease emissivity.

Thesis Committee

  • Jifeng Liu, PhD (Chair)
  • Weiyang Li, PhD
  • Mark Laser, PhD


For more information, contact Theresa Fuller at