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Absorption and scattering properties of carbon nanohorn-based nanofluids for direct sunlight absorbers

Luca Mercatelli1, Elisa Sani1*, Giovanni Zaccanti2, Fabrizio Martelli2, Paola Di Ninni2, Simona Barison3, Cesare Pagura3, Filippo Agresti3 and David Jafrancesco1

Author affiliations

1 National Institute of Optics, National Council of Research, Firenze, 50125, Italy

2 Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Firenze, Sesto Fiorentino, 50019, Italy

3 Institute for Energetics and Interphases, National Council of Research, Padova, 35127, Italy

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Citation and License

Nanoscale Research Letters 2011, 6:282  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-282

Published: 4 April 2011


In the present work, we investigated the scattering and spectrally resolved absorption properties of nanofluids consisting in aqueous and glycol suspensions of single-wall carbon nanohorns. The characteristics of these nanofluids were evaluated in view of their use as sunlight absorber fluids in a solar device. The observed nanoparticle-induced differences in optical properties appeared promising, leading to a considerably higher sunlight absorption with respect to the pure base fluids. Scattered light was found to be not more than about 5% with respect to the total attenuation of light. Both these effects, together with the possible chemical functionalization of carbon nanohorns, make this new kind of nanofluids very interesting for increasing the overall efficiency of the sunlight exploiting device.


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