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Tungsten photonic crystals may answer the need for more power in advanced electrical applications


Technical Insights’ High Tech Materials Alert

Scientists have discovered that when lattice tungsten filaments are heated, they are capable of emitting greater energy than solid tungsten filaments.

"Because of this significant advance, lattice tungsten filaments will likely meet the increasing power requirements of high-tech electrical systems, such as those in hybrid electric cars, sophisticated boats, engines, and industrial waste heat-driven electrical generators," says Technical Insights Analyst Aninditta Savitry.

Tungsten lattice emissions transfer more energy than solid tungsten filaments into certain bands of near-infrared wavelengths. The energy is used by photovoltaic cells to convert light into electricity. "The next generation of lighting may arrive if the results that are now possible at 1.5 microns can be extended to the entire visible spectrum," says Savitry.

Tungsten lattices have crystalline regularity and are capable of bending light without losing any energy. Computer chip production technology has enabled mass fabrication of these sub-micron-featured lattices. Precise channels of the crystal lattice have been constructed, forming a home for particular wavebands as they travel. The innovation here is to use the channels not to bend light, but to permit input energy to exit only with the desired frequency bands, and thereby enhance output.

Existing receivers absorb only limited bands of incoming energy across the wide spectrum of infrared radiation. Photonic lattices, when placed between a solar, dynamo, or fire generator and receiver, can be engineered to absorb energy.

Tungsten lattices have exhibited a conversion efficiency of 34 percent and electrical power density of about 14 W/cm2 when heated to 1,250 degree centigrade in a vacuum.

New analysis by Technical Insights, a business unit of Frost & Sullivan (, featured in High-Tech Materials Alert, presents insights into the discovery of tungsten photonic crystals and their capabilities in providing higher power than competing materials.

Frost & Sullivan is a global leader in strategic growth consulting. Acquired by Frost & Sullivan, Technical Insights is an international technology analysis business that produces a variety of technical news alerts, newsletters, and reports. This ongoing growth opportunity analysis of tungsten photonic crystals is covered in High Tech Materials Alert, a Technical Insights subscription service, and in Advanced Materials Update, a Frost & Sullivan Technical Insights technology report. Technical Insights and Frost & Sullivan also offer custom growth consulting to a variety of national and international companies. Executive summaries and interviews are available to the press.

High Tech Materials Alert

Julia Paulson
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Pramila Gurtoo
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Julia Paulson | EurekAlert!
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