Svetlana V. Boriskina, PhD




  Mechanical Engineering Department

Massachusetts Institute of Technology












Teaching & mentoring

Special issues & sessions



Last updated: 25 Oct 2018

Solar and Thermal Nanophotonics & Nanoplasmonics

Nano-structured photonic and plasmonic materials with embedded internal resonances possess unique properties that can be exploited for the existing and emerging applications in renewable energy generation, energy storage, nanoscale heat management, etc. A high density of optical states in the vicinity of photonic and plasmonic nanostructures, meta-surfaces and meta-materials enhances light absorption and emission, enables localized heating, and drives near-field heat exchange between hot and cold surfaces. Surface plasmon modes channel the energy of absorbed photons directly to the free electrons, and the generated hot electrons can be utilized in thermoelectric, photovoltaic and photo-catalytic platforms. My research in solar and thermal nanophotonics encompasses near-field radiative heat transfer, development of advanced thermophotovoltaic platforms and hybrid photovoltaics & solar-thermal energy generators, plasmonic heating, super-heated vapor generation, and remote temperature sensing.

Guest-edited Special Issues:

Optics Express, 2015: Control of Radiative Processes for Energy Conversion and Harvesting (with Peter Bermel, Zongfu Yu and Karl Joulain)

Nanophotonics, 2016: Smart nanophotonics for renewable energy and sustainability (with Vivian Ferry and Alexander Kildishev)


New materials & concepts

S.V. Boriskina, J. Zhou, Z. Ding, G. Chen, Efficiency limits of solar energy harvesting via internal photoemission in carbon materials, Photonics, 5(1), 4, 2018.

S.V. Boriskina, H. Zandavi, B. Song, Y. Huang, G. Chen, "Heat is the new light," Optics and Photonics News, 28(11) 26-33, 2017.

S.V. Boriskina, T. Cooper, L. Zeng, G. Ni,, J.K. Tong, Y. Tsurimaki, Y. Huang, L. Meroueh, G. Mahan, G. Chen, Losses in Plasmonics: from mitigating energy dissipation to embracing loss-enabled functionalities, Advances in Optics & Photonics, 9(4) 775-827, 2017.

M.I. Stockman, et al, Roadmap on plasmonics, to appear in J. Optics, 2017.

W.-C. Hsu, J.K. Tong, B. Liao, Y. Huang, S.V. Boriskina, G. Chen "Entropic and near-field improvements of thermoradiative cells," Sci. Reports 6, 34837, 2016.

S.V. Boriskina, M.A. Green, K. Catchpole, E. Yablonovitch, M.C. Beard, Y. Okada, S. Lany, T. Gershon, A. Zakutayev, M. Tahersima, V.J. Sorger, M.J. Naughton, K. Kempa, M. Dagenais, Y. Yao, L. Xu, X. Sheng, N.D. Bronstein, J.A. Rogers, A.P. Alivisatos, R.G. Nuzzo, D.M. Wu, M.D. Wisser, A. Salleo, J. Dionne, J.M. Gordon, P. Bermel, J.-J. Greffet, I. Celanovic, M. Soljacic, A. Manor, C. Rotschild, A. Raman, L. Zhu, S. Fan, G.Chen, " Roadmap on optical energy conversion," J. Optics, 18(7) 073004, 2016.

S.V. Boriskina, L.A. Weinstein, W.-C. Hsu, J.K. Tong, and G. Chen, "Limiting efficiencies of photo-detection and solar energy conversion via internal emission of hot electrons and hot holes in gold," SPIE Optical Engineering + Applications, San Diego, CA, Aug. 2015 (INVITED) - Proc. SPIE 9608, Infrared Remote Sensing and Instrumentation XXIII, 960816 (September 1, 2015); doi:10.1117/12.2189678.

P. Bermel, S.V. Boriskina, Z. Yu, K. Joulain, "Control of radiative processes for energy conversion and harvesting," Optics Express, vol. 23, no. 24, pp. 1533-1540, 2015.

S.V. Boriskina, J.K. Tong, V. Ferry, J. Michel, A. Kildishev, "Breaking the Limits of Optical Energy Conversion," Optics and Photonics News, July/August 2015.

S.V. Boriskina, H. Ghasemi, G. Chen "Plasmonic materials for energy: from physics to applications,"  invited for Materials Today, vol. 16, pp. 379-390, 2013 [REVIEW].

J.Tong, A. Mercedes, G. Chen, and S.V. Boriskina, "Local field topology behind light localization and metamaterial topological transitions," Singular and Chiral Nanoplasmonics (S.V. Boriskina and N. Zheludev Eds.) Pan Stanford Publishing, 2014

Photovoltaics & Solar-thermal

G. Ni, S.H. Zandavi, S.M. Javid, S.V. Boriskina, T. Cooper, G. Chen, "A salt-rejecting floating solar still for low-cost desalination," Energy and Environmental Science, doi:10.1039/C8EE00220G, 2018.

L. A. Weinstein, K. McEnaney, E. Strobach, S. Yang, B. Bhatia, L. Zhao, Y. Huang, J. Loomis, S.V. Boriskina, E.N. Wang, G. Chen, A hybrid electric and thermal solar receiver, Joule,, 2018.

G. Ni, G. Li, S.V. Boriskina, H. Li, W. Yang, T.J. Zhang, G. Chen, "Steam generation under one sun enabled by a floating structure with thermal concentration," Nature Energy 1, Article number: 16126 (2016), doi:10.1038/nenergy.2016.126.

F. Cao, Y. Huang, L. Tang, T. Sun, S.V. Boriskina, G. Chen, Z. Ren "Toward a high-efficient utilization of solar radiation by quad-band solar spectral splitting," Adv. Materials, DOI: 10.1002/adma.201603113, 2016.

W.-C. Hsu, J.K. Tong, M.S. Branham, Y. Huang, S. Yerci, S.V. Boriskina, G. Chen "Mismatched Front and Back Gratings for Optimum Light Trapping in Ultra-Thin Crystalline Silicon Solar Cells," Opt. Communicat. 2016, in press.

M.S. Branham, W.-C. Hsu, S. Yerci, J. Loomis, S.V. Boriskina, B.R. Hoard, S.E. Han, A. Ebong, G. Chen "Empirical comparison of random and periodic surface light-trapping structures for ultrathin silicon photovoltaics," Adv. Opt. Materials, 2016, DOI: 10.1002/adom.201500667.

S.V. Boriskina, L.A. Weinstein, W.-C. Hsu, J.K. Tong, and G. Chen, "Limiting efficiencies of photo-detection and solar energy conversion via internal emission of hot electrons and hot holes in gold," Proc. SPIE 9608, Infrared Remote Sensing and Instrumentation XXIII, 960816 (September 1, 2015); doi:10.1117/12.2189678.

L.A. Weinstein, W.-C. Hsu, S. Yerci, S.V. Boriskina, and G. Chen, "Enhanced absorption of thin-film photovoltaic cells using an optical cavity," J. of Optics, vol. 17, no. 5, 055901, 2015.

M.S. Branham, W.-C. Hsu, S. Yerci, J. Loomis, S.V. Boriskina, B.R. Hoard, S.E. Han, and G. Chen, "15.7%  Efficient 10-m-Thick Crystalline Silicon Solar Cells Using Periodic Nanostructures," Adv. Materials., vol. 27, no. 13, p. 2268, 2015.

G. Ni, N. Miljkovic, H. Ghasemi, X. Huang, S.V. Boriskina, C.-T. Lin, J.J. Wang, Y. Xu, M.M. Rahman, T.J. Zhang, G. Chen, "Volumetric solar heating of nanofluids for direct vapor generation," Nano Energy, v. 17, pp. 290301, 2015.

J. Loomis, L. Weinstein, S.V. BoriskinaX. Huang, V. Chiloyan, and G. Chen, "Diverging polygon-based modeling (DPBM) of concentrated solar flux distributions," Solar Energy, v. 122, pp. 24-35, 2015. 

Near-field heat transfer & Thermo-photovoltaics

S.V. Boriskina, J.K. Tong, Y. Huang, J. Zhou, V. Chiloyan, and G. Chen, "Enhancement and tunability of near-field radiative heat transfer mediated by surface plasmon polaritons in thin plasmonic films," Photonics, 2(2), 659-683, 2015.

J.K. Tong, W.-C. Hsu, Y. Huang, S.V. Boriskina, and G. Chen, "Thin-film Thermal Well emitters and absorbers for high-efficiency thermophotovoltaics," Scientific Reports, 5, Article no. 10661, 2015.

Y. Huang, S.V. Boriskina and G. Chen, "Electrically tunable near-field radiative heat transfer via ferroelectric materials," Appl. Phys. Lett., 105, 244102, 2014.

S.V. Boriskina, G. Chen, "Exceeding the solar cell Shockley-Queisser limit via thermal up-conversion of low-energy photons," Opt. Communicat. vol. 314, pp. 7178, 2014 (see ArXiV version here).

Thermal management & detection

Y. Tsurimaki, J.K. Tong, V. Boriskin, A. Semenov, M. Ayzatsky, Y. Machekhin, G. Chen, S.V. Boriskina, Topological engineering of interfacial optical Tamm states for highly-sensitive near-singular-phase optical detection, ACS Photonics, 5 (3), 929938, 2018.

S.V. Boriskina, A.V. Boriskin, H. Qu, M. Skorobogatiy, D. Simpson, R. Osgood, "Optics on the go," Optics and Photonics News, 28(9) 34-41, 2017.

S.V. Boriskina, L.A. Weinstein, J.K. Tong, W.-C. Hsu, G. Chen, "Hybrid optical-thermal antennas for enhanced light focusing and local temperature control," ACS Photonics, DOI:  10.1021/acsphotonics.6b00374, 2016.

S.V. Boriskina, "Nanoporous fabrics could keep you cool," Science, 353(6303) 986-987, 2016.

S.V. Boriskina, J.K. Tong, W.-C. Hsu, B. Liao, Y. Huang, V. Chiloyan, G. Chen, "Heat meets light on the nanoscale," Nanophotonics, 2016, DOI: 10.1515/nanoph-2016-0010.

S.V. Boriskina, L.A. Weinstein, W.-C. Hsu, J.K. Tong, and G. Chen, "Hybrid optical-thermal devices and materials for light manipulation and radiative cooling,"  Proc. SPIE 9546, Active Photonic Materials VII, 95461U (September 1, 2015); doi:10.1117/12.2189679.

J.K. Tong, X. Huang, S.V. Boriskina, J. Loomis, Y. Xu, G. Chen, "Infrared-transparent visible-opaque fabrics for wearable personal thermal management," ASC Photonics, 2 (6), pp 769778, 2015.

V.N. Boriskin, N.I. Aizatsky, S.V. Boriskina, Y.P. Machehin, and A. Semenov, "Theoretical and Experimental Study of Temperature-Dependent Spectral Properties of Multilayer Metal-Dielectric Nano-Film Structures," ICTON Int. Conference, Rome, Italy, July 2007.