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A Novel Near-field Photonic Thermal Diode with hBN and InSb

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posted on 2023-01-12, 13:48 authored by Dudong Feng, Shannon K. Yee, Zhuomin M. Zhang
Similar to the diode in electronics, a thermal diode is a two-terminal device that allows heat to transfer easier in one direction (forward bias) than in the opposite direction (reverse bias). Unlike conductive and convective thermal diodes, a photonic thermal diode operates in a contactless mode and may afford a large operating temperature range. In this work, a novel near-field photonic thermal diode with hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) and indium antimonide (InSb) is proposed and theoretically demonstrated. The temperature dependence of the interband absorption of InSb is used to couple (or decouple) with the hyperbolic phonon polaritons in hBN. The numerical analysis predicts a rectification ratio greater than 17 for a 10 nm vacuum gap when operating at an average temperature of 300 K and a temperature difference of 200 K. The calculated rectification ratio exceeds 35 with higher average temperatures and larger temperature differences. The mechanism proposed here for achieving photonic thermal rectification provides a new way of controlling radiative heat transfer.

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