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Singular Fluctuational Electrodynamic Effects in Hyperbolic Metamaterials and Moving Media Open Access


Other title
fluctuational electrodynamics
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Guo, Yu
Supervisor and department
Jacob, Zubin (Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering)
Examining committee member and department
Jacob, Zubin (Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering)
Page, Don (Department of Physics)
Tsui, Ying (Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering)
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
photonics and plasmas
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
Metamaterials are artificial media designed to achieve exotic electromagnetic responses that are not available in conventional materials. Engineering the black body thermal emission using metamaterials promises to impact a variety of applications involving thermophotovoltaics, energy management and coherent thermal sources. Metamaterials with hyperbolic dispersion exhibit a broadband singularity in the bulk photonic density of states, which can be thermally excited and utilized in various thermal applications. In this report, we give a detailed account of equilibrium and non-equilibrium fluctuational electrodynamics of hyperbolic metamaterials. We show the unifying aspects of two different approaches; one utilizes the second kind of fluctuation dissipation theorem and the other makes use of the scattering method. We show the existence of broadband thermal emission and heat transfer beyond the black body limit in the near field. This arises due to the thermal excitation of unique bulk metamaterial modes, which do not occur in conventional media. We analyze the near-field of hyperbolic metamaterials at finite temperatures and show that the lack of spatial coherence can be attributed to the multi-modal nature of super-Planckian thermal emission. We also adopt the analysis to phonon-polaritonic super-lattice metamaterials and describe the regimes suitable for experimental verification of our predicted effects. The results also reveal that far-field thermal emission spectra are dominated by epsilon-near-zero and epsilon-near-pole responses as expected from Kirchoff's laws. Our work should aid both theorists and experimentalists to study complex media and engineer equilibrium and non-equilibrium fluctuations for applications in thermal photonics. In the second part, we describe our discovery of a singular resonance with infinite quality factor which occurs between moving plates. Conventional resonators fold the path of light by reflections leading to a phase balance and thus constructive addition of propagating waves. However, amplitude decrease of these waves due to incomplete reflection or material absorption leads to a finite quality factor of all resonances. Here we report on our result that evanescent waves can lead to both a phase and amplitude balance causing an ideal and Fabry-Perot resonance condition in spite of material absorption and non-ideal boundary discontinuities. The counterintuitive resonance occurs if and only if the Fabry-Perot plates are in relative motion to each other separated by a critical distance. We show that this singular resonance can be thermally excited between moving plates separated by a small gap causing a large number of photons to be exchanged between them. Furthermore, we also show that this resonance fundamentally dominates all non-equilibrium interactions (momentum and heat transfer) between the moving bodies. Our result is valid in the relativistic limit considering polarization mixing and also reveals the important role of the singular resonance on the fluctuational drag force between moving bodies in the T$ o$0 limit (quantum friction).
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
Citation for previous publication
Yu Guo, Zubin Jacob, "Fluctuational electrodynamics of hyperbolic metamaterials," J. Appl. Phys. 115, 234306 (2014)Yu Guo, Zubin Jacob, "Thermal hyperbolic metamaterials," Optics Express 21 (12), 15014-15019 (2013)Yu Guo, Ward Newman, Cristian L. Cortes, and Zubin Jacob, "Applications of Hyperbolic Metamaterial Substrates," Advances in OptoElectronics Volume 2012 (2012)Yu Guo and Zubin Jacob, "Singular evanescent wave resonance,'' arXiv:1311.3718 [physics.optics]

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