Thermal Transport

Blowing by the blackbody limit

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Science  05 Oct 2018:
Vol. 362, Issue 6410, pp. 42-43
DOI: 10.1126/science.362.6410.42-f

The blackbody limit tells us the maximum amount of heat that can be emitted from an object. However, this limit is known to be no limit at all when the spacing between objects is small enough. Thompson et al. show that the blackbody limit can be circumvented when the emitting objects themselves are small. More importantly, they demonstrate a massive, hundredfold enhancement relative to the classical blackbody limit using nanoscale membranes. This opens the door to tailoring nanoscale materials for enhanced thermal absorption and emission applications.

Nature 561, 216 (2018).

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