Electric and magnetic surface polariton mediated near-field radiative heat transfer between metamaterials made of silicon carbide particles.

Optics express

PubMedID: 21996819

Francoeur M, Basu S, Petersen SJ. Electric and magnetic surface polariton mediated near-field radiative heat transfer between metamaterials made of silicon carbide particles. Opt Express. 2011;19(20):18774-88.
Near-field radiative heat transfer between isotropic, dielectric-based metamaterials is analyzed. A potassium bromide host medium comprised of silicon carbide (SiC) spheres with a volume filling fraction of 0.4 is considered for the metamaterial. The relative electric permittivity and relative magnetic permeability of the metamaterial are modeled via the Clausius-Mossotti relations linking the macroscopic response of the medium with the polarizabilities of the spheres. We show for the first time that electric and magnetic surface polariton (SP) mediated near-field radiative heat transfer occurs between dielectric-based structures. Magnetic SPs, existing in TE polarization, are physically due to strong magnetic dipole resonances of the spheres. We find that spherical inclusions with radii of 1 µm (or greater) are needed in order to induce SPs in TE polarization. On the other hand, electric SPs existing in TM polarization are generated by surface modes of the spheres, and are thus almost insensitive to the size of the inclusions. We estimate that the total heat flux around SP resonance for the metamaterial comprised of SiC spheres with radii of 1 µm is about 35% greater than the flux predicted between two bulks of SiC, where only surface phonon-polaritons in TM polarization are excited. The results presented in this work show that the near-field thermal spectrum can be engineered via dielectric-based metamaterials, which is crucial in many emerging technologies, such as in nanoscale-gap thermophotovoltaic power generation.