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Title: Effectively infinite optical path-length created using a simple cubic photonic crystal for extreme light trapping

A 900 nm thick TiO 2 simple cubic photonic crystal with lattice constant 450 nm was fabricated and used to experimentally validate a newly-discovered mechanism for extreme light-bending. Absorption enhancement was observed extending 1–2 orders of magnitude over that of a reference TiO 2 film. Several enhancement peaks in the region from 600–950 nm were identified, which far exceed both the ergodic fundamental limit and the limit based on surface-gratings, with some peaks exceeding 100 times enhancement. These results are attributed to radically sharp refraction where the optical path length approaches infinity due to the Poynting vector lying nearly parallel to the photonic crystal interface. The observed phenomena follow directly from the simple cubic symmetry of the photonic crystal, and can be achieved by integrating the light-trapping architecture into the absorbing volume. These results are not dependent on the material used, and can be applied to any future light trapping applications such as phosphor-converted white light generation, water-splitting, or thin-film solar cells, where increased response in areas of weak absorption is desired.
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [1]
  1. Rensselaer Polytechnic Inst., Troy, NY (United States). Dept. of Physics
  2. National Chiao-Tung Univ., Hsinchu City (Taiwan). Dept. of Photonics
  3. Soochow Univ., Suzhou (China). School of Physical Science and Technology
  4. Univ. of Toronto, ON (Canada). Dept. of Physics
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
FG02-06ER46347; EEC-0812056; ECCS-1542081; C140145; MOST 104-2221-E-009-172
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 7; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2045-2322
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Rensselaer Polytechnic Inst., Troy, NY (United States); National Chiao-Tung Univ., Hsinchu City (Taiwan)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22); National Science Foundation (NSF); New York State (United States); Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) (Taiwan)
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; 71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; nanophotonics and plasmonics; photonic crystals; sub-wavelength optics
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1430187