Light absorption is a fundamental optical process playing significantly important role in wide variety of applications ranging from photovoltaics to photothermal therapy. Semiconductors have well-defined absorption bands with low-energy edge dictated by the band gap energy, therefore it is rather challenging to tune the absorption bandwidth of semiconductors. However, resonant absorbers based on plasmonic nanostructures and optical metamaterials emerged as alternative light absorbers due to spectrally selective absorption bands resulting from optical resonances. Recently, a broadband plasmonic absorber design was introduced by Aydin et al. with a reasonably high broadband absorption. Based on that design, here, structurally tunable, broadband absorbers with improved performance are demonstrated. This broadband absorber has a total thickness of 190 nm with 80% average measured absorption (90% simulated absorption) over the entire visible spectrum (400 - 700 nm). Moreover, the effect of the metal and the oxide thicknesses on the absorption spectra are investigated and results indicate that the shorter and the longer band-edge of broadband absorption can be structurally tuned with the metal and the oxide thicknesses, as well as with the resonator size. Detailed numerical simulations shed light on the type of optical resonances that contribute to the broadband absorption response and provide a design guideline for realizing plasmonic absorbers with structurally tunable bandwidths.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics