Thermal radiation at the nanoscale and applications

Pierre Olivier Chapuis, Bong Jae Lee, Alejandro Rodriguez

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


There has been a paradigm shift from the well-known laws of thermal radiation derived over a century ago, valid only when the length scales involved are much larger than the thermal wavelength (around 10 μm at room temperature), to a general framework known as fluctuational electrodynamics that allows calculations of radiative heat transfer for arbitrary sizes and length scales. Near-field radiative heat transfer and thermal emission in systems of sub-wavelength size can exhibit super-Planckian behavior, i.e., flux rates several orders of magnitude larger than that predicted by the Stefan-Boltzmann (or blackbody) limit. These effects can be combined with novel materials, e.g., low-dimensional or topological systems, to yield even larger modifications and spectral and/or directional selectivity. We introduce briefly the context and the main steps that have led to the current boom of ideas and applications. We then discuss the original and impactful works gathered in the associated Special Topic collection, which provides an overview of the flourishing field of nanoscale thermal radiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number220401
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 27 2023
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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