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Professor Mikhail Kats* University of Wisconsin

Event Date: 
Monday, November 27, 2017 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm

Dynamic Control of Infrared Absorption and Thermal Emission Using Phase-Transition Materials

This talk will review our use of phase-transition materials to achieve dynamic control over mid-infrared absorption and thermal radiation. Materials like vanadium dioxide and the rare-earth nickelates undergo structural and electronic phase transitions that can be driven via thermal, electrical, and optical means. These phase transitions result in dramatic changes in the optical properties, especially in the mid-infrared spectral range where the Drude response dominates, and can be manipulated using techniques like defect engineering. By integrating these phase-transition materials into thin-film and nanostructured devices, we build devices that modulate the amplitude and polarization state of optical absorption, reflection, and thermal radiation. These devices include temperature- and current-tunable absorbers and reflectors, and thermal emitters with anomalous temperature dependence. Most recently, we have realized thin-film anomalous thermal emitters using samarium nickelate that decouple temperature and thermally radiated power, resulting in coatings that can conceal temperature features from thermal cameras.

Mikhail Kats is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at University of Wisconsin – Madison, with affiliate appointments in the Departments of Physics and Materials Science and Engineering. He received his BS in Engineering Physics from Cornell University in 2008, and his PhD in Applied Physics from Harvard University in 2014. In 2016, Mikhail was awarded the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award, and was selected to the Forbes “30 Under 30” list in the Science category. Mikhail’s research interests include optical properties of engineered materials, novel optical and optoelectronic devices, tailoring of thermal emission and radiative heat transfer, enhancement of human vision, and related topics in optics and photonics.

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