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Published October 19, 2016 | Supplemental Material
Journal Article Open

Near-Unity Unselective Absorption in Sparse InP Nanowire Arrays


We experimentally demonstrate near-unity, unselective absorption, broadband, angle-insensitive, and polarization-independent absorption, in sparse InP nanowire arrays, embedded in flexible polymer sheets via geometric control of waveguide modes in two wire motifs: (i) arrays of tapered wires and (ii) arrays of nanowires with varying radii. Sparse arrays of these structures exhibit enhanced absorption due to strong coupling into the first order azimuthal waveguide modes of individual nanowires; wire radius thus controls the spectral region of the absorption enhancement. Whereas arrays of cylindrical wires with uniform radius exhibit narrowband absorption, arrays of tapered wires and arrays with multiple wire radii expand this spectral region and achieve broadband absorption enhancement. Herein, we present an economic, top-down lithographic/etch fabrication method that enables fabrication of multiple InP nanowire arrays from a single InP wafer with deliberate control of nanowire radius and taper. Using this method, we create sparse tapered and multiradii InP nanowire arrays and demonstrate optical absorption that is broadband (450–900 nm), angle-insensitive, and near-unity (>90%) in roughly 100 nm planar equivalence of InP. These highly absorbing sparse nanowire arrays represent a promising approach to flexible, high efficiency optoelectronic devices, such as photodetectors, solar cells, and photoelectrochemical devices.

Additional Information

© 2016 American Chemical Society. Received: May 16, 2016; Published: September 26, 2016; Publication Date (Web): September 26, 2016. This material is based upon work primarily supported by (C.R.B. and H.A.A.) the Engineering Research Center Program of the National Science Foundation and the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy of the Department of Energy under NSF Cooperative Agreement No. EEC-1041895 and is also based upon work performed by (W.-H.C. and K.T.F.) 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 Number DE-SC0004993. The authors declare no competing financial interest.

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