Radiative heat pumping from the Earth using surface phonon resonant nanoparticles

Nano Lett. 2010 Feb 10;10(2):373-9. doi: 10.1021/nl903271d.


Nanoparticles that have narrow absorption bands that lie entirely within the atmosphere's transparent window from 7.9 to 13 mum can be used to radiatively cool to temperatures that are well below ambient. Heating from incoming atmospheric radiation in the remainder of the Planck radiation spectrum, where the atmosphere is nearly "black", is reduced if the particles are dopants in infrared transmitting polymers, or in transmitting coatings on low emittance substrates. Crystalline SiC nanoparticles stand out with a surface phonon resonance from 10.5 to 13 mum clear of the atmospheric ozone band. Resonant SiO(2) nanoparticles are complementary, absorbing from 8 to 10 mum, which includes atmospheric ozone emissions. Their spectral location has made SiC nanoparticles in space dust a feature in ground-based IR astronomy. Optical properties are presented and subambient cooling performance analyzed for doped polyethylene on aluminum. A mixture of SiC and SiO(2) nanoparticles yields high performance cooling at low cost within a practical cooling rig.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Atmosphere / chemistry
  • Earth, Planet*
  • Hot Temperature
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry*
  • Nanotechnology / methods*
  • Radiation
  • Temperature