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JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSICS 109, 063525 (2011

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Broadband and omnidirectional absorption in heterostructures with a highly absorptive metallic film and a dielectric Bragg reflector
Gui-qiang Du,1,a) Li-wei Zhang,2 and Hai-tao Jiang3,4
School of Space Science and Physics, Shandong University at Weihai, Weihai 264209, China School of Physics and Chemistry, Henan Polytechnic University, Jiaozuo 454003, China 3 Pohl Institute of Solid State Physics, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China 4 Shanghai Key Laboratory of Special Artificial Microstructure Materials and Technology, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China
2 1

(Received 13 November 2010; accepted 11 February 2011; published online 22 March 2011) We have found theoretically that nearly total absorption in a wideband of frequencies and a large range of angles of incidence for both polarizations can be realized in a heterostructure consisting of a highly absorptive metal film and a truncated photonic crystal. Furthermore, the width of the absorption band is broadened with increase of the incident angle for the transverse electric polarization. Such properties are significant for designing near-perfect broadband and wide-angle C absorbers in the visible and near infrared regions. V 2011 American Institute of Physics. [doi:10.1063/1.3562173]
I. INTRODUCTION

Bulk metals are nice mirrors instead of good absorbers in visible wavelengths even though the absorption coefficient of most metals is much larger than that of dielectrics. However, nano-structured metal can enhance absorption through some kinds of resonance. Such metallic optical absorbers with enhanced absorption in a broad band or a wide range of angles of incidence have important applications such as in photovoltaic cells, photodetectors and the thermal light-emitting sources. One-dimensional (1D) periodic, aperiodic and quasiperiodic metal-dielectric multilayers can enhance the absorption through Bragg resonance.1–4 Also, nanostructures, by modifying the metallic faces, e.g., by a metallic grating,5–7 two-dimensional square lattice of metallic cylinders in air,8 periodic metallic pyramids,9 and nanoporous metal surfaces,10 can absorb light strongly. However, it is difficult to fabricate metallic nanostructures so optical absorbers that only contain unstructured metal films and have both broadband and good angle-independence properties are highly desirable in many applications. Recently, a kind of narrowband optical absorber has been realized by a heterostructure composed of an unstructured thick metallic film such as silver with a relative small absorption coefficient and a truncated dielectric photonic crystal (PC)11,12 under tunneling (impedance and the phase matching) conditions.11–13 The metal is the natural e-negative (ENG) material (e < 0, l > 0) below the plasma frequency and the PC has the role of the l-negative (MNG) material (e > 0, l < 0) in the forbidden gap.14 Under tunneling conditions, the EM fields can be highly localized at the interface of two opaque media. Distinct from the conventional surface plasmon-polaritons, this kind of interface modes, also called Tamm plasmon-polaritons (TPPs)15,16 or surface modes,17–19 can be formed for both transverse electric (TE) and transverse magnetic (TM) waves. Also, in the dispersion diagram, TPPs with frequencies in the forbidden gap of the PC15–20 are above
a)

the light line given by k ¼ x=c, where k is the wave vector of light in vacuum and x is the angular frequency. The enhancement of fields in TPPs could be of use in absorber/sensor/detector technology and nonlinear optics applications.11,12,20 However, the strong localized fields in the heterostructure indicate that the heterostructure has a high quality factor, which makes the half-width of the absorption peak very narrow. Moreover, the sharp absorption peak is angle-sensitive because usually the forbidden gap of 1D PCs in the heterostructure is sensitive to the angle of incidences. In this paper, we find theoretically that if a heterostructure contains a metallic film that has a much larger absorption coefficient than that of silver and a truncated 1D PC, the strength of fields in metallic film required to obtain strong absorption can be noticeably decreased. Owing to the decrease of the localization of fields in the structure, the half-width of the absorption peak can be greatly widened. Moreover, if an impedance matching layer21,22 is put on the top of the metal, a broad band of essentially complete absorption can be obtained. The width of the absorption band is determined by the width of the gap of the 1D PC. Furthermore, if the 1D PC has an omnidirectional gap, a wide total absorption band will be maintained for a wide range of incident angles. In particular, the absorption band is actually much broader at oblique incidence than it is at normal incidence for TE polarization. The paper is organized as follows. In Sec. II, we show the reflectance, transmittance and absorbance for the heterostructure composed of a highly absorptive metallic film and a truncated dielectric 1D PC with an omnidirectional gap. The distributions of intensities of the EM fields at the wavelength of total absorption are also shown. Then, we show that a total broadband absorption in a wide range of incident angles can be realized by a heterostructure with a dielectric impedance matching layer on the metallic film. Finally, we conclude in Sec. III.
II. TOTAL ABSORPTION IN HETEROSTRUCTURES

Electronic mail: dgqql@sdu.edu.cn.

We consider a heterostructure composed of a metallic film M and a truncated PC denoted by (CD)N, where N is the
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C V 2011 American Institute of Physics

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nC ¼ 1:6. 23 has a large imaginary part. a nearly perfect absorption peak is obtained with A¼0. transmittance and absorbance of M(CD)10. respectively. It is seen that in the wavelength range (410. the (CD)10 in the heterostructure denoted by M(CD)10 can be considered as a dielectric omnidirectional reflector. (b) and (c) show the reflectance. nD ¼ 4:6. The higher the loss is.9990 and R ¼ 9:6 Â 10À4 . respectively. In Fig. the reflectance increases and the absorbance decreases.0 nm. The metal is selected to be tungsten whose permittivity given in Ref. Moving away from 551. the strength of the fields required to obtain total absorption can be much weaker than that in the silver. respectively. the shaded and white regions denote the forbidden gap and allowed band. the crucial point to obtain high absorbance is reducing the reflectance at the entrance face of the heterostructure. Figure 1 shows the dispersion diagram of (CD)N for both TE and TM waves by means of the transfer-matrix method. 063525 (2011) FIG. dM ¼ 4:9 nm.063525-2 Du.0 nm).13 the thickness of tungsten (dA ) is selected to be 4. In other words. 1. the materials are the tungsten (M) and (CD)10. At the tunneling wavelength (k0 ) of 551.24 The thicknesses of C and D are selected to be dC ¼ 75:94 nm and dD ¼ 32:28 nm. This distribution of the fields together with the large absorption coefficient of tungsten leads to the strong absorption of light. respectively. 2(d). C (D) represents polystyrene (tellurium) that has the refractive index nC ¼ 1:6 (nD ¼ 4:6).0 nm. Based on the tunneling conditions at normal incidence.0 nm. respectively. dD ¼ 32:28 nm.0 nm). dC ¼ 75:94 nm. as indicated by the two dashed lines. (d) The simulated distributions of jEj2 (blue lines) and jH j2 (black lines) in M(CD)10 at a wavelength of 551. 1. (Color online) (a). In general. The jEj2 of the incident wave is taken to be 1.9–639. From left to right along the axis through the structure. 2(b) and 2(c) give the reflectance R. In the region between the two dashed lines. an omnidirectional gap exists. . periodic number. When the wavelength of incident wave is in this omnidirectional gap. the half-width of FIG. When high-loss tungsten is involved. 109. layer M is drawn with a thickness 10 times greater than its true scaled value. For clearer presentation. Figures 2 (a). Appl. Phys.25 In the figure. Zhang. and Jiang J. a high-loss metal will induce strong reflection.12. Figure 2(d) gives the simulated distributions of the intensities of electric field (jEj2 ) and magnetic field (j H j2 ) in M(CD)10 at the wavelength of total absorption (k0 ¼ 551.9 nm to realize zero reflection at the wavelength of the tunneling mode. since the imaginary part of the permittivity of the tungsten is much larger than that of the silver. the EM fields are more concentrated in the tungsten M than in the (CD)10. an omnidirectional gap exists for all angles of incidence. the stronger the reflection is. Dispersion diagram of (CD)N for both TE and TM waves. transmittance T and absorbance A of M(CD)10. All the other parameters are the same as those in Fig. As a result. 2.

3. To better understand the broadband absorption phenomenon. 539. k2 ¼ 539. we give the distributions of jEj2 at three different wavelengths k1 ¼ 407.5 nm. 109. 50 . Figures 3 (a). For the structures BM(CD)10. dM ¼ 11:5 nm. In order to absorb the light completely in a wideband. in Figs. Appl. 3. the key point is to realize impedance matching within the entire region of the first gap of the polystyrene/tellurium PC. The dielectric matching layer is selected as polystyrene (denoted by B) that is also used to avoid the oxidization of the metal film in the air. 50 . layer M is drawn with a thickness 6 times greater than its true scaled value. a broad band of nearly total absorption is realized for a wide range of angles of incidence.3 nm. 1. respectively. 3. . where k1 (k3 ) corresponds to the minimum (maximum) value of absorption within the shorter-wavelength FIG. B is the protection film with dB ¼ 82:69 nm and nB ¼ nC . 4(b). For clearer presentation. As shown in Fig. 3(c) and 3(d) show the absorbance (solid lines) of BM(CD)10 and reflectance (dashed lines) of (CD)10 as a function of wavelength for TM and TE waves at incident angles of 0 .3 nm. and Jiang J.1 nm and 816. One can see that jEj2 in aver the forbidden gap are larger than those in the passband. (b). respectively. 4(a) gives the average distributions of the electric fields jEj2 (Ref.1 nm and k3 ¼ 816. In other words. In order to analyze the reason for the enhanced absorption in the forbidden gap of the PC. All the parameters are the same as those in Fig. It is seen that the edges of absorption band coincide with those of the reflection band of the truncated PC. the absorption peak in the tungsten-PC heterostructure is much larger than that in the heterostructure composed of silver and a truncated TiO2 =SiO2 PC12 considered elsewhere. the reflection of the light away from the tunneling wave- length (k0 ) should also be zero.5 nm. (c) and aver (d) give the distributions of jEj2 in BM(CD)10 at different wavelengths of 407. respectively. So the width of the absorption band is connected with that of the gap of the PC. 4(c). and 75 . It is found that a broad band of nearly total absorption may be obtained if an appropriate dielectric layer is put on the top of the tungsten film. Phys. Zhang. 063525 (2011) FIG.063525-3 Du. (Color online) Absorbance (solid lines) of BM(CD)10 and reflectance (dashed lines) of (CD)10 as a function of wavelength for TM and TE modes at 0 . Further. (Color online) (a) The average values of fields (jEj2 ) in the metallic layer of BM(CD)10 as a function of wavelength at normal incidence. 20) in the tungsten film as a function of aver wavelength at normal incidence. and 75 incident angles. and 4(d). 3(b). 4. the absorption band is widened with increase of the incident angle for TE waves since the gap of the PC is broadened. Fig. the thicknesses of B and M are dB ¼ 82:69 nm and dM ¼ 11:5 nm. All the other parameters are the same as those in Fig.

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