Directly Converting Heat to Electricity Using Compact, Microfabricated Thermionic Devices

Home / Articles / External Non-Government


January 17, 2017 | Originally published by Date Line: January 17 on

Jared Schwede and Daniel Riley completed their Ph.D.s in the department of physics at Stanford University. At Stanford, they were part of a world-leading research group on thermionic energy converters, focusing on a breakthrough solar conversion process based on photon-enhanced thermionic energy conversion, which harvests both photon and heat energy from the sun”s spectrum.

Dan and Jared”s work on thermionics has been recognized with the Ross N. Tucker Award, which acknowledges excellence in semiconductor and materials research, at the Berkeley Energy and Resources Collaborative Innovation Expo, and by the Global Climate and Energy Project, among others. They are excited to be leading this effort at Cyclotron Road to develop transformative thermionics technology.

Technology Vision: Thermonic energy converters can rival the performance of all conventional heat engines in a package that can be scaled from watts to megawatts.

Key Innovation – Applying modern materials and wafer fabrication techniques, Spark Thermionics will tap the full potential of thermionic conversion and transform how we harvest heat energy.


Focus Areas