Heat Under the Microscope
Thermal transport is a ubiquitous process that incorporates a wide range of physics and plays an essential role in nearly every technological application, ranging from space power generation to solar energy conversion. In this talk, I will describe our efforts to understand and manipulate microscopic heat transport processes using theory, computation, and experiment. In particular, I will describe a method that provides the first direct link between specific thermal atomic vibrational modes with Angstrom-scale wavelengths and atomic features at interfaces and atomically rough thin films. I will also introduce a new concept for a solar selective absorber that achieves remarkably high temperatures under unconcentrated sunlight, expanding the applications of solar thermal energy conversion.