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Opt Express. 2014 Dec 1;22(24):30032-46. doi: 10.1364/OE.22.030032.

An ab-initio coupled mode theory for near field radiative thermal transfer.


We investigate the thermal transfer between finite-thickness planar slabs which support surface phonon polariton modes (SPhPs). The thickness-dependent dispersion of SPhPs in such layered materials provides a unique opportunity to manipulate and enhance the near field thermal transfer. The key accomplishment of this paper is the development of an ab-initio coupled mode theory that accurately describes all of its thermal transfer properties. We illustrate how the coupled mode parameters can be obtained in a direct fashion from the dispersion relation of the relevant modes of the system. This is illustrated for the specific case of a semi-infinite SiC substrate placed in close proximity to a thin slab of SiC. This is a system that exhibits rich physics in terms of its thermal transfer properties, despite the seemingly simple geometry. This includes a universal scaling behavior of the thermal conductance with the slab thickness and spacing. The work highlights and further increases the value of coupled mode theories in rapidly calculating and intuitively understanding near-field transfer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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