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Ion Write Microthermotics: Programing Thermal Metamaterials at the Microscale.


Considerable advances in manipulating heat flow in solids have been made through the innovation of artificial thermal structures such as thermal diodes, camouflages, and cloaks. Such thermal devices can be readily constructed only at the macroscale by mechanically assembling different materials with distinct values of thermal conductivity. Here, we extend these concepts to the microscale by demonstrating a monolithic material structure on which nearly arbitrary microscale thermal metamaterial patterns can be written and programmed. It is based on a single, suspended silicon membrane whose thermal conductivity is locally, continuously, and reversibly engineered over a wide range (between 2 and 65 W/m·K) and with fine spatial resolution (10-100 nm) by focused ion irradiation. Our thermal cloak demonstration shows how ion-write microthermotics can be used as a lithography-free platform to create thermal metamaterials that control heat flow at the microscale.

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