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Title: Ultralight Angstrom-Scale Optimal Optical Reflectors

Abstract

High reflectance in many state-of-the-art optical devices is achieved with noble metals. However, metals are limited by losses and, for certain applications, by their high mass density. Using a combination of ab initio and optical transfer matrix calculations, we evaluate here the behavior of graphene-based angstrom-scale metamaterials and find that they could act as nearly perfect reflectors in the mid–long-wave infrared (IR) range. The low density of states for electron–phonon scattering and interband excitations leads to unprecedented optical properties for graphene heterostructures, especially alternating atomic layers of graphene and hexagonal boron nitride, at wavelengths greater than 10 μm. At these wavelengths, these materials exhibit reflectivities exceeding 99.7% at a fraction of the weight of noble metals, as well as plasmonic mode confinement and quality factors that are greater by an order of magnitude compared to noble metals. These findings hold promise for ultracompact optical components and waveguides for mid-IR applications. Moreover, unlike metals, the photonic properties of these heterostructures could be actively tuned via chemical and/or electrostatic doping, providing exciting possibilities for tunable devices.

Authors:
 [1]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [3]; ORCiD logo [4];  [5];  [6];  [4]
  1. California Inst. of Technology (CalTech), Pasadena, CA (United States). Dept. of Applied Physics and Materials Science
  2. Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA (United States). John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
  3. Rensselaer Polytechnic Inst., Troy, NY (United States). Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering
  4. Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States). Dept. of Physics
  5. Univ. of Zagreb (Croatia). Dept. of Physics. Faculty of Science
  6. Univ. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA (United States). School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States); Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory-National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
OSTI Identifier:
1470499
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1488928
Grant/Contract Number:  
[SC0001299; AC02-05CH11231]
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
ACS Photonics
Additional Journal Information:
[ Journal Volume: 5; Journal Issue: 2]; Journal ID: ISSN 2330-4022
Publisher:
American Chemical Society (ACS)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; 71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; 2D heterotructures; perfect electric conductors; surface plasmons; plasmonic waveguides

Citation Formats

Papadakis, Georgia T., Narang, Prineha, Sundararaman, Ravishankar, Rivera, Nicholas, Buljan, Hrvoje, Engheta, Nader, and Soljačić, Marin. Ultralight Angstrom-Scale Optimal Optical Reflectors. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1021/acsphotonics.7b00609.
Papadakis, Georgia T., Narang, Prineha, Sundararaman, Ravishankar, Rivera, Nicholas, Buljan, Hrvoje, Engheta, Nader, & Soljačić, Marin. Ultralight Angstrom-Scale Optimal Optical Reflectors. United States. doi:10.1021/acsphotonics.7b00609.
Papadakis, Georgia T., Narang, Prineha, Sundararaman, Ravishankar, Rivera, Nicholas, Buljan, Hrvoje, Engheta, Nader, and Soljačić, Marin. Wed . "Ultralight Angstrom-Scale Optimal Optical Reflectors". United States. doi:10.1021/acsphotonics.7b00609. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1470499.
@article{osti_1470499,
title = {Ultralight Angstrom-Scale Optimal Optical Reflectors},
author = {Papadakis, Georgia T. and Narang, Prineha and Sundararaman, Ravishankar and Rivera, Nicholas and Buljan, Hrvoje and Engheta, Nader and Soljačić, Marin},
abstractNote = {High reflectance in many state-of-the-art optical devices is achieved with noble metals. However, metals are limited by losses and, for certain applications, by their high mass density. Using a combination of ab initio and optical transfer matrix calculations, we evaluate here the behavior of graphene-based angstrom-scale metamaterials and find that they could act as nearly perfect reflectors in the mid–long-wave infrared (IR) range. The low density of states for electron–phonon scattering and interband excitations leads to unprecedented optical properties for graphene heterostructures, especially alternating atomic layers of graphene and hexagonal boron nitride, at wavelengths greater than 10 μm. At these wavelengths, these materials exhibit reflectivities exceeding 99.7% at a fraction of the weight of noble metals, as well as plasmonic mode confinement and quality factors that are greater by an order of magnitude compared to noble metals. These findings hold promise for ultracompact optical components and waveguides for mid-IR applications. Moreover, unlike metals, the photonic properties of these heterostructures could be actively tuned via chemical and/or electrostatic doping, providing exciting possibilities for tunable devices.},
doi = {10.1021/acsphotonics.7b00609},
journal = {ACS Photonics},
number = [2],
volume = [5],
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {10}
}

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