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Title: Near-field thermodynamics: Useful work, efficiency, and energy harvesting

We show that the maximum work that can be obtained from the thermal radiation emitted between two planar sources in the near-field regime is much larger than that corresponding to the blackbody limit. This quantity, as well as an upper bound, for the efficiency of the process is computed from the formulation of thermodynamics in the near-field regime. The case when the difference of temperatures of the hot source and the environment is small, relevant for energy harvesting, is studied in detail. We also show that thermal radiation energy conversion can be more efficient in the near-field regime. These results open new possibilities for the design of energy converters that can be used to harvest energy from sources of moderate temperature at the nanoscale.
Authors:
;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [3]
  1. Departament de Física Fonamental, Facultat de Física, Universitat de Barcelona, Martí i Franquès 1, 08028 Barcelona (Spain)
  2. Universidade Federal da Integração Latino-Americana, Caixa Postal 2067, 85867-970 Foz do Iguaçu (Brazil)
  3. (United Kingdom)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22271160
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Applied Physics; Journal Volume: 115; Journal Issue: 12; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
77 NANOSCIENCE AND NANOTECHNOLOGY; EFFICIENCY; ENERGY CONVERSION; NANOSTRUCTURES; PHOTON EMISSION; THERMAL RADIATION; THERMODYNAMICS