Professor Shanhui Fan and interdisciplinary team members from EE, ME, and Applied Physics, reported this energy-saving breakthrough in the journal Nature. Using a thermal photonic approach, the material reflects sunlight and emits heat, demonstrating new possibilities for energy efficiency. The photonic radiative cooler consists of seven alternating layers of hafnium dioxide (HfO2) and silicon dioxide (SiO2) of varying thicknesses, on top of 200 nm of silver (Ag), which are all deposited on top of a 200-mm silicon wafer.
The ultrathin, multilayered material can help cool buildings, reducing the need for air conditioning.
Image: Norbert von der Groebe