Overcoming black body radiation limit in free space

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Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
A1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä
Date
2016-01-01
Major/Subject
Mcode
Degree programme
Language
en
Pages
Series
NEW JOURNAL OF PHYSICS, Volume 18, issue 1
Abstract
Here, we demonstrate that the power spectral density of thermal radiation at a specific wavelength produced by a body of finite dimensions set up in free space under a fixed temperature could be made theoretically arbitrary high, if one could realize double negative metamaterials with arbitrary small loss and arbitrary high absolute values of permittivity and permeability (at a given frequency). This result refutes the widespread belief that Planck's law itself sets a hard upper limit on the spectral density of power emitted by a finite macroscopic body whose size is much greater than the wavelength. Here we propose a physical realization of a metamaterial emitter whose spectral emissivity can be greater than that of the ideal black body under the same conditions. Due to the reciprocity between the heat emission and absorption processes such cooled down superemitter also acts as an optimal sink for the thermal radiation - the 'thermal black hole' - which outperforms Kirchhoff-Planck's black body which can absorb only the rays directly incident on its surface. The results may open a possibility to realize narrowband super-Planckian thermal radiators and absorbers for future thermo-photovoltaic systems and other devices.
Description
Keywords
black body, metamaterial, thermal radiation
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Citation
Maslovski , S I , Simovski , C R & Tretyakov , S A 2016 , ' Overcoming black body radiation limit in free space : Metamaterial superemitter ' , New Journal of Physics , vol. 18 , no. 1 , 013034 . https://doi.org/10.1088/1367-2630/18/1/013034