High Temperature Polaritonic Ceramics

Dual-band quasi-coherent radiative thermal source

Thermal radiation from an unpatterned object is similar to that of a gray body. The thermal emission is insensitive to polarization, shows only Lambertian angular dependence, and is well modeled as the product of the blackbody distribution and a scalar emissivity over large frequency bands. We design, fabricate and experimentally characterize the spectral, polarization, angular and temperature dependence of a microstructured SiC dual band thermal infrared source; achieving independent control of the frequency and polarization of thermal radiation in two spectral bands. The measured emission of the device in the Reststrahlen band (10.3–12.7 μm) selectively approaches that of a blackbody, peaking at an emissivity of 0.85 at λx = 11.75 μm and 0.81 at λy = 12.25 μm. This effect arises due to the thermally excited phonon polaritons in silicon carbide. The control of thermal emission properties exhibited by the design is well suited for applications requiring infrared sources, gas or temperature sensors and nanoscale heat transfer. Our work paves the way for future silicon carbide based thermal metasurfaces.




High-temperature polaritons in ceramic nanotube antennas

High-temperature thermal photonics presents unique challenges for engineers as the database of materials that can withstand extreme environments are limited. In particular, ceramics with high temperature stability that can support coupled light-matter excitations, that is, polaritons, open new avenues for engineering radiative heat transfer. Hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) is an emerging ceramic 2D material that possesses low-loss polaritons in two spectrally distinct mid-infrared frequency bands. The hyperbolic nature of these frequency bands leads to a large local density of states (LDOS). In 2D form, these polaritonic states are dark modes, bound to the material. In cylindrical form, boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs) create subwavelength particles capable of coupling these dark modes to radiative ones. In this study, we leverage the high-frequency optical phonons present in BNNTs to create strong mid-IR thermal antenna emitters at high temperatures (938 K). Through direct measurement of thermal emission of a disordered system of BNNTs, we confirm their radiative polaritonic modes and show that the antenna behavior can be observed even in a disordered system. These are among the highest-frequency optical phonon polaritons that exist and could be used as high-temperature mid-IR thermal nanoantenna sources.


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