PerspectiveOptical Metamaterials

Metamaterials for perpetual cooling at large scales

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Science  10 Mar 2017:
Vol. 355, Issue 6329, pp. 1023-1024
DOI: 10.1126/science.aam8566

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The cold universe is a vast but freely available heat sink that has been largely neglected in the past and has a great potential to store and dissipate the enormous waste heat we generate every day on Earth. On page 1062 of this issue, Zhai et al. develop a metamaterial—a class of engineered material with exotic properties not found in nature—to cool room-temperature objects perpetually by dumping heat to outer space through infrared (IR) thermal radiation (1).