Measurement of High-temperature Thermophysical Properties of Bulk and Coatings Using Modulated Photothermal Radiometry

Jian Zeng, Ka Man Chung, Qingyang Wang, Xiaoxin Wang, Yu Pei, Peiwen Li, Renkun Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This paper presents the development of instrumentation for the measurement of high-temperature thermal conductivity of bulk and coatings using a modulated photothermal radiometry (MPR) method, where a sample is heated by an intensity-modulated laser to probe into different layers of the sample. While MPR has been previously established, most of the prior studies only focus on the measurement at room temperature. The MPR has not been well studied for measurements of bulk and coating materials at high temperatures, which are increasingly important for a multitude of applications, such as materials used in the concentrating solar power (CSP) plants and the nuclear reactors. MPR is a non-contact technique that utilizes the intrinsic thermal emission from the specimens for thermometry, which is favorable for measurements at high temperatures in harsh environment. The authors designed and utilized a sample holder suitable for high temperature measurement up to 973 K with good temperature uniformity within the sample. The high-temperature MPR setup was validated by measuring bulk materials with known thermal conductivity. The setup and technique were then extended to the measurement of black solar-absorbing coatings of 10 to 50 μm thick on various substrates by modulating the frequency of the laser heating beam and the thermal penetration depth. The studies showed that thermal conductivities of typical solar-absorbing coatings are 0.4 ~ 0.8 W m−1 K−1, indicating a possibly large temperature drop within the coating under high solar irradiation flux, such as over 1000-sun for central solar towers in CSP plants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number120989
JournalInternational Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer
StatePublished - May 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Coating
  • Concentrating Solar Power
  • High Temperature
  • Photothermal Radiometry
  • Thermal Conductivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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