Ultraviolet to Mid-Infrared Emissivity Control by Mechanically Reconfigurable Graphene

Anirudh Krishna, Jin Myung Kim, Juyoung Leem, Michael Cai Wang, Sungwoo Nam, Jaeho Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Spectral emissivity control is critical for optical and thermal management in the ambient environment because solar irradiance and atmospheric transmissions occur at distinct wavelength regions. For instance, selective emitters with low emissivity in the solar spectrum but high emissivity in the mid-infrared can lead to significant radiative cooling. Ambient variations require not only spectral control but also a mechanism to adjust the emissivity. However, most selective emitters are fixed to specific wavelength ranges and lack dynamic control mechanisms. Here we show ultraviolet to mid-infrared emissivity control by mechanically reconfiguring graphene, in which stretching and releasing induce dynamic topographic changes. We fabricate crumpled graphene with pitches ranging from 40 nm to 10 μm using deformable substrates. Our measurements and computations show that 140 nm-pitch crumpled graphene offers ultraviolet emissivity control in 200-300 nm wavelengths whereas 10 μm-pitch crumpled graphene offers mid-infrared emissivity control in 7-19 μm wavelengths. Significant emissivity changes arise from interference induced by the periodic topography and selective transmissivity reductions. Dynamic stretching and releasing of 140 nm and 10 μm pitch crumpled graphene show reversible emissivity peak changes at 250 nm and at 9.9 μm wavelengths, respectively. This work demonstrates the unique potential of crumpled graphene as a reconfigurable optical and thermal management platform.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5086-5092
Number of pages7
JournalNano letters
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 14 2019


  • Crumpled graphene
  • and radiative cooling
  • metamaterial surface
  • selective absorber
  • selective emitter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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