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Violating Kirchhoff's Law of Thermal Radiation in Semitransparent Structures

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posted on 2023-01-11, 22:49 authored by Yubin Park, Viktar S. Asadchy, Bo Zhao, Cheng Guo, Jiahui Wang, Shanhui Fan
Kirchhoff's law of thermal radiation imposes a constraint on photon-based energy harvesting processes since part of the incident energy flux is inevitably emitted back to the source. By breaking the reciprocity of the system, it is possible to overcome this restriction and improve the efficiency of energy harvesting. Here, we design and analyze a semitransparent emitter that fully absorbs normally incident energy from a given direction with zero backward and unity forward emissivity. The nearly ideal performance with wavelength-scale thickness is achieved due to the magneto-optical effect and the guided-mode resonance engineered in the emitter structure. We derive the general requirements for the nonreciprocal emitter using the temporal coupled mode theory and the symmetry considerations. Finally, we provide a realistic emitter design based on a photonic crystal slab consisting of a magnetic Weyl semimetal and silicon.

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