RLE Recent Papers

Thermal radiation control from hot graphene electrons coupled to a photonic crystal nanocavity

Ren-Jye Shiue, Yuanda Gao, Cheng Tan, Cheng Peng, Jiabao Zheng, Dmitri K. Efetov, Young Duck Kim, James Hone2 & Dirk Englund

doi:10.1038/s41467-018-08047-3

Abstract:

Controlling thermal radiation is central in a range of applications including sensing, energy harvesting, and lighting. The thermal emission spectrum can be strongly modified through the electromagnetic local density of states (EM LDOS) in nanoscale-patterned metals and semiconductors. However, these materials become unstable at high temperature, preventing improvements in radiative efficiency and applications such as thermophotovoltaics. Here, we report stable high-temperature thermal emission based on hot electrons (>2000 K) in graphene coupled to a photonic crystal nanocavity, which strongly modifies the EM LDOS. The electron bath in graphene is highly decoupled from lattice phonons, allowing a comparatively cool temperature (700 K) of the photonic crystal nanocavity. This thermal decoupling of hot electrons from the LDOS-engineered substrate opens a broad design space for thermal emission control that would be challenging or impossible with heated nanoscale-patterned metals or semiconductor materials.