A new publication in Physical Review B

Our work on extreme near-field heat transfer has been published in the physical review B. The paper title is “Extreme near-field heat transfer between gold surfaces

Abstract: Extreme near-field heat transfer between metallic surfaces is a subject of debate as the state-of-the-art theory and experiments are in disagreement on the energy carriers driving heat transport. In an effort to elucidate the physics of extreme near-field heat transfer between metallic surfaces, this paper presents a comprehensive model combining radiation, acoustic phonon, and electron transport across sub-10-nm vacuum gaps. The results obtained for gold surfaces show that in the absence of bias voltage, acoustic phonon transport is dominant for vacuum gaps smaller than ∼ 2 nm. The application of a bias voltage significantly affects the dominant energy carriers as it increases the phonon contribution mediated by the long-range Coulomb force and the electron contribution due to a reduced potential barrier. For a bias voltage of 0.6 V, acoustic phonon transport becomes dominant at a vacuum gap of 5 nm, whereas electron tunneling dominates at sub-nm vacuum gaps. The comparison of the theory against experimental data from the literature suggests that well-controlled measurements between metallic surfaces are needed to quantify the contributions of acoustic phonon and electron as a function of the bias voltage.