We explore ways to actively control near-field radiative heat transfer between two surfaces that relies on electrical tuning of phonon modes of ferroelectric materials.<br />Ferroelectrics are widely used for tunable electrical devices, such as capacitors and memory devices; however, their tunable properties have not yet been examined for heat transfer applications. We show via simulations that radiative heat transfer between two ferroelectric materials can be enhanced by over two orders of magnitude over the blackbody limit in the near field, and can be tuned as much as 16.5% by modulating the coupling between surface phonon polariton modes at the two surfaces via varying external electric fields. We then discuss how to maximize the modulation contrast for tunable thermal devices using the studied mechanism.
Huang, Y., Boriskina, S. V., & Chen, G. (2014). Electrically tunable near-field radiative heat transfer via ferroelectric materials. Applied Physics Letters, 105(24). https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4904456