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Opt Express. 2016 Feb 8;24(3):2577-89. doi: 10.1364/OE.24.002577.

Suppression of infrared absorption in nanostructured metals by controlling Faraday inductance and electron path length.

Abstract

Nanostructured metals have been intensively studied for optical applications over the past few decades. However, the intrinsic loss of metals has limited the optical performance of the metal nanostructures in diverse applications. In particular, light concentration in metals by surface plasmons or other resonances causes substantial absorption in metals. Here, we avoid plasmonic excitations for low loss and investigate methods to further suppress loss in nanostructured metals. We demonstrate that parasitic absorption in metal nanostructures can be significantly reduced over a broad band by increasing the Faraday inductance and the electron path length. For an example structure, the loss is reduced in comparison to flat films by more than an order of magnitude over most of the very broad spectrum between short and long wavelength infrared. For a photodetector structure, the fraction of absorption in the photoactive material increases by two orders of magnitude and the photoresponsivity increases by 15 times because of the selective suppression of metal absorption. These findings could benefit many metal-based applications that require low loss such as photovoltaics, photoconductive detectors, solar selective surfaces, infrared-transparent defrosting windows, and other metamaterials.

PMID:
26906830

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