We review recent advances in the fundamental understanding and technological applications of radiative processes for energy harvesting, conversion, efficiency, and sustainability. State-of-the-art and remaining challenges are discussed, together with the latest developments outlined in the papers comprising this focus issue. The topics range from the fundamentals of the thermal emission manipulation in the far and near field, to applications in radiative cooling, thermophotovoltaics, thermal rectification, and novel approaches to photon detection and conversion.
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