Conventionally, the theory of radiative energy transport is based on the concept of blackbody, which is known to emit the largest amount of radiative energy between objects. However, when two objects are separated within a sub-wavelength distance, the radiative energy transfer can exceed the blackbody limit by orders of magnitude owing to near-field coupling of the electromagnetic waves radiated by the objects. This near-field enhancement of radiative energy transport can be beneficially used for emerging nanoscale heat engines. In addition, a nanoscale gap can also make a significant effect on the charge transport phenomena by suppressing the space charge effect, creating image charges in the electrodes, concentrating electric fields, and allowing electron tunneling across the gap. The coupling of such near-field charge transport with near-field radiative energy transfer will be discussed along with our experimental efforts to demonstrate its viability for energy applications.
Mohammad Ghashami, Devon Jensen, and Keunhan (Kay) Park, "On the potential of radiative energy and charge transports across a nanoscale gap for energy applications (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10936, Photonic Heat Engines: Science and Applications, 1093608 (Presented at SPIE OPTO: February 03, 2019; Published: 4 March 2019); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2511536.6009800541001.
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