Surface Heat Transport

Surface Phonon-Polaritons

They are evanescent electromagnetic waves capable of carrying heat along the interface of polar nanomaterials (SiO2, SiC, SiN).

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A Dynamical Radiative System

Thermal Memristor

A memory resistor characterized by a Lissajous curve between the heat flux and temperature difference periodically modulated in time, of its two terminals.

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Amplifying Heat Currents

Radiative Thermal Transistor

A three-terminal device capable of heating and cooling by capitalizing on the combined effect of the metal-insulator transition of VO2 and its thermal hysteresis.

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Rectifying Heat Currents

Thermal Wave Diode

A two-terminal device capable of switching on and off the heat current of thermal waves by capitalizing on the spatiotemporal modulation of the thermal conductivity and heat capacity.

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Polaritons in a Nanofilm

Quantum of Thermal Conductance

The thermal conductance per unit width of a sufficiently thin polar nanofilm supporting the propagation of surface-phonon polaritons is independent of the material properties and is given by 12z(3)k_B^3T^2/ch^2.

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About our Research

Know What We Do

We are currently working on the development of solid state phase-change materials, transmission of information via heat carriers (thermotronics), heat transport by surface electromagnetic waves (thermopolaritronics), thermal performance of particulate composites, dynamical radiative systems, non-linear heat conduction and nanoscale heat transport generated by the combined dynamics of electrons, phonons and photons.

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Research Tools

Theoretical and Experimental Techniques

We analytically solve the Boltzmann transport equation, Maxwell equations and non-linear heat conduction equation to describe the heat transport in different materials and systems.

We use finite elements methods (COMSOL) for numerically modeling multiphysics problems involving the heat transport driven by phonons, photons and electrons, under steady-state and dynamical conditions.

This spectroscopic technique is applied to measure the thermal difussivity and thermal conductivity of isotropic and anisotropic thin films. Laser beams with a Gaussian profile are used along with a heating stage.

We apply this technique to measure the in-plane thermal conductivity and in-plane thermal conductivity of nano films mainly, as functions of temperature, for temperatures higher than room one.

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PhD Graduates


Visiting scholars

Heat generated by surface phonon-polaritons and plasmon-polaritons propagating along the interface of polar dielectric and metallic nanomaterials and nanostructured systems.

Dynamical radiative system characterized by a Lissajous curve between the heat flux exchanged by its two terminals and their temperature difference periodically modulated in time.

Transistor-like device capable of heating and cooling by exploiting both the metal-insulator transition and thermal hysteresis of VO2 and other phase-change materials.

The metal-insulator transition of two phase-change materials with asymmetric thermal conductivities and emissivities sensitive to temperature are used to develop a radiative thermostat capable of maintaining a constant temperature without consuming energy.

Volume Heat Carriers

To tailor and exploit the heat transport driven by the simultaneous dynamics of phonons, electrons, and photons.

Surface Heat Carriers

To tailor and exploit the heat transport generated by surface electromagnetic waves propagating along polar dielectric and metallic nanomaterials.

Theoretical Tools

To continuously improve analytical methods and numerical simulations for describing the heat transport at all spatial and time scales.

Experimental Techniques

To measure the macroscopic and microscopic properties driving the heat transport by conduction, radiation, and convection; under a teamwork with collaborators.