Photothermal conversion characteristics of gold nanoparticle dispersions

Hui Zhang, Hui Jiuan Chen, Xiaoze Du, Dongsheng Wen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

211 Scopus citations


This work proposes and validates a novel idea of using plasmonic nanoparticles (PNP) to improve the solar thermal conversion efficiency. Gold nanoparticle (GNP) is synthesized from an improved citrate-reduction method, and used as an example to illustrate the photothermal conversion characteristics of PNPs under a solar simulator. The experimental results show that GNP has the best photo-thermal conversion capability comparing to other reported materials. At the lowest particle concentration examined (i.e., 0.15. ppm), GNP increases the photo-thermal conversion efficiency of the base fluid by 20% and reaches a specific absorption rate (SAR) of ~10. kW/g. The photo-thermal conversion efficiency increases with increasing particle concentrations, but the SAR shows a reverse trend, which is unexpected as all GNPs should be still in the independent scattering regime.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-147
Number of pages7
JournalSolar Energy
StatePublished - Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Gold nanoparticle
  • Nanofluids
  • Photo-thermal conversion
  • Plasmonic nanoparticle
  • Solar collector
  • Solar energy


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