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Limits to the Optical Response of Graphene and Two-Dimensional Materials

Miller, Owen D. and Ilic, Ognjen and Christensen, Thomas and Homer Reid, M. T. and Atwater, Harry A. and Joannopoulos, John D. and Soljačić, Marin and Johnson, Steven G. (2017) Limits to the Optical Response of Graphene and Two-Dimensional Materials. Nano Letters, 17 (9). pp. 5408-5415. ISSN 1530-6984. doi:10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b02007.

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Two-dimensional (2D) materials provide a platform for strong light–matter interactions, creating wide-ranging design opportunities via new-material discoveries and new methods for geometrical structuring. We derive general upper bounds to the strength of such light–matter interactions, given only the optical conductivity of the material, including spatial nonlocality, and otherwise independent of shape and configuration. Our material figure-of-merit shows that highly doped graphene is an optimal material at infrared frequencies, whereas single-atomic-layer silver is optimal in the visible. For quantities ranging from absorption and scattering to near-field spontaneous-emission enhancements and radiative heat transfer, we consider canonical geometrical structures and show that in certain cases the bounds can be approached, while in others there may be significant opportunity for design improvement. The bounds can encourage systematic improvements in the design of ultrathin broadband absorbers, 2D antennas, and near-field energy harvesters.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Information Paper
Miller, Owen D.0000-0003-2745-2392
Atwater, Harry A.0000-0001-9435-0201
Additional Information:© 2017 American Chemical Society. Received: May 12, 2017. Revised: August 2, 2017. Published: August 4, 2017. O.D.M. was supported by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research under award number FA9550-17-1-0093. O.I. and H.A.A. were supported as part of the DOE “Light-Material Interactions in Energy Conversion Energy Frontier Research Center under Grant DE-SC0001293 and acknowledge support from the Northrop Grumman Corporation through NG Next. T.C. was supported by the Danish Council for Independent Research (Grant DFFC6108-00667). M.S. was partly supported (reading and analysis of the manuscript) by S3TEC, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy under Grant DE-SC0001299. J.D.J., M.S., and S.G.J. were partly supported by the Army Research Office through the Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies under Contract W911NF-13-D-0001. The authors declare no competing financial interest.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR)FA9550-17-1-0093
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-SC0001293
Northrop Grumman CorporationUNSPECIFIED
Danish Council for Independent ResearchDFFC6108-00667
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-SC0001299
Army Research Office (ARO)W911NF-13-D-0001
Subject Keywords:2D materials, graphene, upper bounds, near-field optics, nonlocality
Issue or Number:9
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170814-134946649
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Limits to the Optical Response of Graphene and Two-Dimensional Materials Owen D. Miller, Ognjen Ilic, Thomas Christensen, M. T. Homer Reid, Harry A. Atwater, John D. Joannopoulos, Marin Soljačić, and Steven G. Johnson Nano Letters 2017 17 (9), 5408-5415 DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b02007
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:80368
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:14 Aug 2017 21:22
Last Modified:15 Nov 2021 19:30

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