Abstract: Thermal emission (thermal radiation) is the phenomenon responsible for most of the light in the universe. Though understanding of thermal emission dates back over a century, recent advances have encouraged the re-examination of this phenomenon and its applications. This talk will describe our group’s advances and outline future work in the measurement and manipulation of thermal emission.
First, I will discuss our efforts to improve thermal-emission metrology, especially for low-temperature thermal emitters and those with temperature-dependent emissivity. Then, I will describe our use of phase-transition materials, including vanadium dioxide and the rare-earth nickelates, to demonstrate new phenomena, including negative- and zero-differential thermal emittance, radiative thermal runaway, and thermo-dichroism. I will also discuss our recent demonstration of nanosecond-scale emissivity modulation. The talk will include discussion of exciting opportunities of thermal-emission engineering for infrared camouflage and thermoregulation.