Plasmonic metamaterials are artificial materials typically composed of noble metals in which the features of photonics and electronics are linked by coupling photons to conduction electrons of metal (known as surface plasmon). These rationally designed structures have spurred interest noticeably since they demonstrate some fascinating properties which are unattainable with naturally occurring materials. Complete absorption of light is one of the recent exotic properties of plasmonic metamaterials which has broadened its application area considerably. This is realized by designing a medium whose impedance matches that of free space while being opaque. If such a medium is filled with some lossy medium, the resulting structure can absorb light totally in a sharp or broad frequency range. Although several types of metamaterials perfect absorber have been demonstrated so far, in the current paper we overview (and focus on) perfect absorbers based on nanocomposites where the total thickness is a few tens of nanometer and the absorption band is broad, tunable and insensitive to the angle of incidence. The nanocomposites consist of metal nanoparticles embedded in a dielectric matrix with a high filling factor close to the percolation threshold. The filling factor can be tailored by the vapor phase co-deposition of the metallic and dielectric components. In addition, novel wet chemical approaches are discussed which are bio-inspired or involve synthesis within levitating Leidenfrost drops, for instance. Moreover, theoretical considerations, optical properties, and potential application of perfect absorbers will be presented. © 2014 by the authors.
- Materials Science (all)
- Perfect absorber