Optimization of extraordinary optical absorption in plasmonic and dielectric structures

Maria Bayard Dühring, Ole Sigmund

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Extraordinary optical absorption (EOA) can be obtained by plasmonic surface structuring. However, studies that compare the performance of these plasmonic devices with similar structured dielectric devices are rarely found in the literature. In this work we show different methods to enhance the EOA by optimizing the geometry of the surface structuring for both plasmonic and dielectric devices, and the optimized performances are compared. Two different problem types with periodic structures are considered. The first case shows that strips of silicon on a surface can increase the absorption in an underlying silicon layer for certain optical wavelengths compared to metal strips. It is then demonstrated that by topology optimization it is possible to generate nonintuitive surface designs that perform even better than the simple strip designs for both silicon and metals. These results indicate that in general it is important to compare the absorption performance of plasmonic devices with similarly structured dielectric devices in order to find the best possible solution.
Original languageEnglish
JournalOptical Society of America. Journal B: Optical Physics
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)1154-1160
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Bibliographical note

This paper was published in JOSA B and is made available as an electronic reprint with the permission of OSA. The paper can be found at the following URL on the OSA website: http://www.opticsinfobase.org/josab/abstract.cfm?uri=josab-30-5-1154. Systematic or multiple reproduction or distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means is prohibited and is subject to penalties under law.

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