Sunday, January 6, 2013

Nanoscale Radiative Heat Flow due to Surface Plasmons in Graphene and Doped Silicon

Owing to its two-dimensional electronic structure, graphene exhibits many unique properties. One of them is a wave vector and temperature dependent plasmon in the infrared range. Theory predicts that due to these plasmons, graphene can be used as a universal material to enhance nanoscale radiative heat exchange for any dielectric substrate. Here we report on radiative heat transfer experiments between SiC and a SiO2 sphere that have nonmatching phonon polariton frequencies, and thus only weakly exchange heat in near field. We observed that the heat flux contribution of graphene epitaxially grown on SiC dominates at short distances. The influence of plasmons on radiative heat transfer is further supported with measurements for doped silicon. These results highlight graphene’s strong potential in photonic near field and energy conversion devices.

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