This work probes radiative polaritons in thin oxide layers as a mean to capture and absorb broadband infrared radiation and transform it into heat. A heat recovery mechanism, based on the Seebeck effect, is used as the tool of the investigation. Heat production challenges the current understanding which views the excitation of radiative polaritons as only accompanied by the emission of electromagnetic radiation. The heat recovery mechanism presented here can inspire the design of infrared energy harvesting devices, similar to photovoltaic cells, and other devices to convert energy from a wide range of the electromagnetic radiation spectrum using thermoelectric power generators.
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Vincent-Johnson, A. J., Vasquez, K. A., Bridstrup, J. E., Masters, A. E., Hu, X., Scarel, G. Heat recovery mechanism in the excitation of radiative polaritons by broadband infrared radiation in thin oxide films. Applied Physics Letters, 99, 131901 (2011), DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3643464