Broadband polarization-independent resonant light absorption using ultrathin plasmonic super absorbers

Koray Aydin*, Vivian E. Ferry, Ryan M. Briggs, Harry A. Atwater

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1514 Scopus citations


Resonant plasmonic and metamaterial structures allow for control of fundamental optical processes such as absorption, emission and refraction at the nanoscale. Considerable recent research has focused on energy absorption processes, and plasmonic nanostructures have been shown to enhance the performance of photovoltaic and thermophotovoltaic cells. Although reducing metallic losses is a widely sought goal in nanophotonics, the design of nanostructured 'black' super absorbers from materials comprising only lossless dielectric materials and highly reflective noble metals represents a new research direction. Here we demonstrate an ultrathin (260 nm) plasmonic super absorber consisting of a metal-insulator-metal stack with a nanostructured top silver film composed of crossed trapezoidal arrays. Our super absorber yields broadband and polarization-independent resonant light absorption over the entire visible spectrum (400-700 nm) with an average measured absorption of 0.71 and simulated absorption of 0.85. Proposed nanostructured absorbers open a path to realize ultrathin black metamaterials based on resonant absorption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number517
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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