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Nat Mater. 2019 Jan;18(1):48-54. doi: 10.1038/s41563-018-0239-6. Epub 2018 Dec 3.

Thermal meta-device in analogue of zero-index photonics.

Li Y1, Zhu KJ1,2, Peng YG1,3, Li W4, Yang T5,6, Xu HX1,7, Chen H2, Zhu XF3, Fan S8, Qiu CW9.

Author information

1
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore.
2
Key Laboratory of Advanced Micro-structure Materials (MOE) and School of Physics Sciences and Engineering, Tongji University, Shanghai, China.
3
School of Physics and Innovation Institute, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China.
4
Department of Electrical Engineering, Ginzton Laboratory, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA.
5
Department of Mechanics, Tianjin University, Tianjin, China.
6
Tianjin Key Laboratory of Nonlinear Dynamics and Control, Tianjin, China.
7
Air and Missile Defense College, Air Force Engineering University, Xi'an, China.
8
Department of Electrical Engineering, Ginzton Laboratory, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA. shanhui@stanford.edu.
9
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore. chengwei.qiu@nus.edu.sg.

Abstract

Inspired by the developments in photonic metamaterials, the concept of thermal metamaterials has promised new avenues for manipulating the flow of heat. In photonics, the existence of natural materials with both positive and negative permittivities has enabled the creation of metamaterials with a very wide range of effective parameters. In contrast, in conductive heat transfer, the available range of thermal conductivities in natural materials is far narrower, strongly restricting the effective parameters of thermal metamaterials and limiting possible applications in extreme environments. Here, we identify a rigorous correspondence between zero index in Maxwell's equations and infinite thermal conductivity in Fourier's law. We also propose a conductive system with an integrated convective element that creates an extreme effective thermal conductivity, and hence by correspondence a thermal analogue of photonic near-zero-index metamaterials, a class of metamaterials with crucial importance in controlling light. Synergizing the general properties of zero-index metamaterials and the specific diffusive nature of thermal conduction, we theoretically and experimentally demonstrate a thermal zero-index cloak. In contrast with conventional thermal cloaks, this meta-device can operate in a highly conductive background and the cloaked object preserves great sensitivity to external temperature changes. Our work demonstrates a thermal metamaterial which greatly enhances the capability for molding the flow of heat.

PMID:
30510270
DOI:
10.1038/s41563-018-0239-6

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