New law to describe the thermal emission from metamaterials

Scientists explore the thermal emission behavior of metamaterials.


Metamaterials or metasurfaces consisting of patterned subwavelength structures, have been widely employed for thermal emission control. However, the physics behind their thermal emission properties remains elusive.

A new study, scientists have created a new scale law to describe the thermal emission from metasurfaces and metamaterials.

Jiayu Li, a Ph.D. candidate, said“With this new scale law uncovering the underlying physics behind the collective thermal emission behavior of metamaterials, researchers could easily utilize existing design and optimization tools to achieve desired thermal emission properties from metamaterials, instead of blindly searching for the best solution through mapping the entire design space.”

Thermal radiation is referred to as quantized electromagnetic radiation excited by thermal agitation of molecules or atoms and having a range including infrared, visible light, and ultraviolet.

In general, thermal emission relies upon an object’s temperature and composition. Metasurfaces, be that as it may, diverge from our classical comprehension of thermal emission because of their unique sub-wavelength scale structure.

Scientists expect that their new scale law will be helpful in various fields, including electrical engineering, optoelectronics, materials science, and thermal engineering. 

Sheng Shen, an associate professor in Carnegie Mellon’s department of mechanical engineering, said, “At CMU, we are applying this new scale law to design novel metamaterial-based thermal infrared devices for a variety of applications including infrared signature control, infrared sensing, thermal management, and thermal energy conversion.”

Journal Reference:
  1. Jiayu Li, Scale Law of Far-Field Thermal Radiation from Plasmonic Metasurfaces. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.124.137401


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