Physics Colloquium: Georgia Papadakis, Stanford University
Tailoring the flow of light and radiant heat
Understanding and tailoring light-matter interactions lies at the heart of many modern solid-state technologies, ranging from imaging, to solar energy harvesting, data storage and quantum computations. This inspires research in artificial composite materials with properties acquired by design, termed metamaterials. In this talk, I will demonstrate how, using metamaterial principles, we introduce novel material functionalities that surpass natural bounds. Examples include optical artificial magnetism, unattainable with natural materials, ultra-lightweight ultra-reflective mirrors composed of few-atoms-thick van der Waals materials, and exciton- and phonon-based light-guiding schemes.
Controlling the flow of light has further implications in controlling the flow or radiative heat. I will focus on radiative heat transfer in the near-field, where Planck’s law of thermal radiation does not hold, and extreme amounts of heat can be transferred efficiently. Based on these principles, I will discuss efficient CMOS-compatible thermal switching schemes along with heat-to-electricity energy conversion with thermophotovoltaic systems. Namely, I will show that thermophotovoltaic systems hold potential to convert solar heat as well as waste heat from the manufacturing sector into useful electricity with efficiencies reaching thermodynamic limits.
Wednesday, January 29 at 4:00pm
Higgins Hall, 310
Higgins Hall, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467