Spectral tuning of near-field radiative heat flux between two thin silicon carbide films

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Francoeur, M. ; Mengüç, M. Pınar ; Vaillon, R. (2010)
  • Publisher: Institute of Physics
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.1088/0022-3727/43/7/075501
  • Subject: electrical, magnetic and optical [Condensed matter] | Semiconductors | Surfaces, interfaces and thin films

Due to copyright restrictions, the access to the full text of this article is only available via subscription. Spectral distributions of radiative heat flux between two thin silicon carbide films separated by sub-wavelength distances in vacuum are analysed. An analytical expression for the near-field flux between two layers of finite thicknesses in terms of film reflection and transmission coefficients is derived for the first time. The resulting equation clearly shows the resonant modes of thermal emission, absorption and the cross-coupling of surface phonon-polaritons (SPhPs) between the layers. When the films are of the same thickness, the resonant frequencies maximizing near-field thermal emission almost match those of absorption. The small discrepancies, due to SPhP coupling between the films, lead to loss of spectral coherence affecting mostly the low frequency mode. The flux profiles also show that splitting of the resonance into two distinct frequencies happens when the ratio thickness of the film over the separation gap is less than unity. When the thickness of one film increases relative to the other, spectral distributions of flux are significantly altered due to an important mismatch between the resonant frequencies of high emission and absorption. This modification of the near-field flux is mostly due to weaker SPhP coupling within the layer of increasing thickness. Based on an asymptotic analysis of the dispersion relation, an approximate approach is proposed to predict the resonant modes maximizing the flux between two films, which can be potentially extended to multiple thin layers. The outcome of this work would allow tailoring near-field radiative heat transfer, and can eventually be used to design customized nanostructures for energy harvesting applications. the US Department of Energy ; the Kentucky Science and Engineering Foundation ; European Commission.
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