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Near-unity broadband absorption designs for semiconducting nanowire arrays via localized radial mode excitation

Fountaine, Katherine T. and Kendall, Christian G. and Atwater, Harry A. (2014) Near-unity broadband absorption designs for semiconducting nanowire arrays via localized radial mode excitation. Optics Express, 22 (S3). A930-A940. ISSN 1094-4087. doi:10.1364/OE.22.00A930.

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We report design methods for achieving near-unity broadband light absorption in sparse nanowire arrays, illustrated by results for visible absorption in GaAs nanowires on Si substrates. Sparse (<5% fill fraction) nanowire arrays achieve near unity absorption at wire resonant wavelengths due to coupling into ‘leaky’ radial waveguide modes of individual wires and wire-wire scattering processes. From a detailed conceptual development of radial mode resonant absorption, we demonstrate two specific geometric design approaches to achieve near unity broadband light absorption in sparse nanowire arrays: (i) introducing multiple wire radii within a small unit cell array to increase the number of resonant wavelengths, yielding a 15% absorption enhancement relative to a uniform nanowire array and (ii) tapering of nanowires to introduce a continuum of diameters and thus resonant wavelengths excited within a single wire, yielding an 18% absorption enhancement over a uniform nanowire array.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription
Fountaine, Katherine T.0000-0002-0414-8227
Atwater, Harry A.0000-0001-9435-0201
Additional Information:© 2014 Optical Society of America. Received 10 Feb 2014; revised 6 Apr 2014; accepted 6 Apr 2014; published 18 Apr 2014. This material is based upon work performed by the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis, a DOE Energy Innovation Hub, supported through the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy under Award No. DE-SC0004993. K.T.F. is supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship under Grant No. DGE-1144469. C.G.K. was supported by a Caltech Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-SC0004993
NSF Graduate Research FellowshipDGE-1144469
Caltech Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)UNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:S3
Classification Code:OCIS codes: (160.6000) Semiconductor materials; (220.2740) Geometric optical design; (350.4238) Nanophotonics and photonic crystals; (350.6050) Solar energy
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140605-133530026
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:46102
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:05 Jun 2014 20:59
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 17:20

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