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CHEMICAL POTENTIAL FOR PHOTONS AND ITS IMPLICATIONS FOR CONTROLLING RADIATIVE HEAT TRANSFER

DOI: 10.1615/AnnualRevHeatTransfer.2020032934

Bo Zhao
Stanford University

Shanhui Fan
Stanford University

Abstract

In conventional photon-based heat transfer, one typically assumes that the chemical potential of photons is zero. On the other hand, when a semiconductor is under external biases, the photons with energy above the semiconductor bandgap can exhibit a non-zero chemical potential that is proportional to the applied voltage. The presence of such non-zero chemical potential points to the abilities to drastically enhance the power density of photon-based heat flow, to electronically control photon-based heat transfer, and to construct photon-based heat engines for energy harvesting and solid-state cooling. In this review, we will discuss basic concepts and applications of chemical potential for photons in controlling radiative heat transfer.

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