Letter abstract


Nature Photonics 3, 514 - 517 (2009)
Published online: 23 August 2009 | doi:10.1038/nphoton.2009.144

Subject Category: Fundamental optical physics

Radiative heat transfer at the nanoscale

Emmanuel Rousseau1,7, Alessandro Siria2,3,7, Guillaume Jourdan3, Sebastian Volz5,6, Fabio Comin4, Joël Chevrier2 & Jean-Jacques Greffet1


Heat can be exchanged between two surfaces through emission and absorption of thermal radiation. It has been predicted theoretically that for distances smaller than the peak wavelength of the blackbody spectrum, radiative heat transfer can be increased by the contribution of evanescent waves1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. This contribution can be viewed as energy tunnelling through the gap between the surfaces. Although these effects have already been observed9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, a detailed quantitative comparison between theory and experiments in the nanometre regime is still lacking. Here, we report an experimental setup that allows measurement of conductance for gaps varying between 30 nm and 2.5 microm. Our measurements pave the way for the design of submicrometre nanoscale heaters that could be used for heat-assisted magnetic recording or heat-assisted lithography.

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  1. Laboratoire Charles Fabry, Institut d Optique, CNRS, Univ Paris-sud, Campus Polytechnique, RD 128, 91127 Palaiseau, France
  2. Institut Néel – CNRS and Université Joseph Fourier, 38042 Grenoble, France
  3. CEA/LETI MINATEC/DIHS/LCMS, 17 rue des Martyrs, 38054 Grenoble cedex 9, France
  4. ESRF, 6 rue Horowitz 38042 Grenoble Cedex, France
  5. Laboratoire EM2C-CNRS UPR 288, École Centrale Paris, Grande voie des vignes 92295 Châtenay-Malabry France
  6. Present address: LIMMS, UMI CNRS 2820-IIS, Center for International Research on MicroMechatronics, CIRMM, Institute of Industrial Science, University of Tokyo, 4-6-1 Komaba, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153-8505, Japan
  7. These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to: Jean-Jacques Greffet1 e-mail: jean-jacques.greffet@institutoptique.fr



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