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In Zhao Group, we are engaged in theoretical and experimental understanding of photonic transport processes for thermal management, energy conversion, and information processing. We are motivated by the grand challenges and opportunities in global warming, renewable energy, and the digital revolution.


We highlight some of our recent research below, including near- and far-field thermal radiation, nanophotonics, electronic circuits, energy harvesting, plasmonics, 2D materials, and numerical design.

Axion-Field-Enabled Nonreciprocal Thermal Radiation in Weyl Semimetals
Self-Sustaining Thermophotonic Circuits
Strong Plasmonic Coupling Between Graphene Ribbon Array and Metal Gratings
Integrated Near-Field Thermo-Photovoltaics for On-Demand Heat Recycling
Sub-Wavelength Passive Optical Isolators Using Photonic Structures Based on Weyl Semimetals
Enhanced Photon Tunneling by Surface Plasmon-Phonon Polaritons in Graphene/hBN Heterostructures
Experimental Demonstration of Energy Harvesting from The Sky Using The Negative Illumination Effect of a Semiconductor Photodiode
Chemical Potential of Photons and Its Implications For Controlling Radiative Heat Transfer
Near-field Radiative Heat Transfer Between Doped-Si Parallel Plates Separated by a Spacing down to 200 nm
MESH: A Free Electromagnetic Solver for Far-Field and Near-Field Radiative Heat Transfer for Layered Periodic Structures

Group News

  • [4/22/2021] Dr. Zhao will join the Department of Mechanical Engineering at U of Houston in Fall 2021.