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Title: Broadband angular selectivity of light at the nanoscale: Progress, applications, and outlook

Humankind has long endeavored to control the propagation direction of light. Since time immemorial, shades, lenses, and mirrors have been used to control the flow of light. In modern society, with the rapid development of nanotechnology, the control of light is moving toward devices at micrometer and even nanometer scales. At such scales, traditional devices based on geometrical optics reach their fundamental diffraction limits and cease to work. Nano-photonics, on the other hand, has attracted wide attention from researchers, especially in the last decade, due to its ability to manipulate light at the nanoscale. This review focuses on the nano-photonics systems that aim to select light based on its propagation direction. In the first half of this review, we survey the literature and the current state of the art focused on enabling optical broadband angular selectivity. The mechanisms we review can be classified into three main categories: (i) microscale geometrical optics, (ii) multilayer birefringent materials, and (iii) Brewster modes in plasmonic systems, photonic crystals, and metamaterials. In the second half, we present two categories of potential applications for broadband angularly selective systems. The first category aims at enhancing the efficiency of solar energy harvesting, through photovoltaic process or solar thermalmore » process. The second category aims at enhancing light extracting efficiency and detection sensitivity. Finally, we discuss the most prominent challenges in broadband angular selectivity and some prospects on how to solve these challenges.« less
Authors:
; ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. Department of Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139 (United States)
  2. (United States)
  3. Research Laboratory for Electronics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22482279
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Applied Physics Reviews; Journal Volume: 3; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: (c) 2016 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; CONTROL; CRYSTALS; DETECTION; DIFFRACTION; EFFICIENCY; EQUIPMENT; LAYERS; METAMATERIALS; NANOSTRUCTURES; NANOTECHNOLOGY; OPTICS; PHOTOVOLTAIC EFFECT; SOLAR ENERGY; VISIBLE RADIATION