OSA's Digital Library

Journal of the Optical Society of America B

Journal of the Optical Society of America B


  • Editor: Grover Swartzlander
  • Vol. 30, Iss. 5 — May. 1, 2013
  • pp: 1154–1160

Optimization of extraordinary optical absorption in plasmonic and dielectric structures

Maria B. Dühring and Ole Sigmund  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA B, Vol. 30, Issue 5, pp. 1154-1160 (2013)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (415 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



Extraordinary optical absorption (EOA) can be obtained by plasmonic surface structuring. However, studies that compare the performance of these plasmonic devices with similar structured dielectric devices are rarely found in the literature. In this work we show different methods to enhance the EOA by optimizing the geometry of the surface structuring for both plasmonic and dielectric devices, and the optimized performances are compared. Two different problem types with periodic structures are considered. The first case shows that strips of silicon on a surface can increase the absorption in an underlying silicon layer for certain optical wavelengths compared to metal strips. It is then demonstrated that by topology optimization it is possible to generate nonintuitive surface designs that perform even better than the simple strip designs for both silicon and metals. These results indicate that in general it is important to compare the absorption performance of plasmonic devices with similarly structured dielectric devices in order to find the best possible solution.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(240.0310) Optics at surfaces : Thin films
(310.6628) Thin films : Subwavelength structures, nanostructures

ToC Category:
Optics at Surfaces

Original Manuscript: January 10, 2013
Manuscript Accepted: February 18, 2013
Published: April 10, 2013

Maria B. Dühring and Ole Sigmund, "Optimization of extraordinary optical absorption in plasmonic and dielectric structures," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 30, 1154-1160 (2013)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. T. W. Ebbesen, H. J. Lezec, H. F. Ghaemi, T. Thio, and P. A. Wolff, “Extraordinary optical transmission through sub-wavelength hole arrays,” Nature 391, 667–669 (1998). [CrossRef]
  2. F. J. G. de Abajo, “Colloquium: light scattering by particle and hole arrays,” Rev. Mod. Phys. 79, 1267–1290 (2007). [CrossRef]
  3. J. N. Anker, W. P. Hall, O. Lyandres, N. C. Shah, J. Zhao, and R. P. Van Duyne, “Biosensing with plasmonic nanosensors,” Nat. Mater. 7, 442–453 (2008). [CrossRef]
  4. J. A. Schuller, E. S. Barnard, W. Cai, Y. C. Jun, J. S. White, and M. L. Brongersma, “Plasmonics for extreme light concentration and manipulation,” Nat. Mater. 9, 193–204 (2010). [CrossRef]
  5. D. Derkacs, S. H. Lim, P. Matheu, W. Mar, and E. T. Yu, “Improved performance of amorphous silicon solar cells via scattering from surface plasmon polaritons in nearby metallic nanoparticles,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 89, 093103 (2006). [CrossRef]
  6. K. R. Catchpole and A. Polman, “Plasmonic solar cells,” Opt. Express 16, 21793–21800 (2008). [CrossRef]
  7. J. S. White, G. Veronis, Z. Yu, E. S. Barnard, A. Chandran, S. Fan, and M. L. Brongersma, “Extraordinary optical absorption through subwavelength slits,” Opt. Lett. 34, 686–688 (2009). [CrossRef]
  8. R. A. Pala, J. White, E. Barnard, J. Liu, and M. L. Brongersma, “Design of plasmonic thin-film solar cells with broadband absorption enhancements,” Adv. Mater. 21, 3504–3509 (2009). [CrossRef]
  9. H. A. Atwater and A. Polman, “Plasmonics for improved photovoltaic devices,” Nat. Mater. 9, 205–213 (2010). [CrossRef]
  10. L. A. Weller-Brophy, and D. G. Hall, “Analysis of waveguide gratings: application of Rouard’s method,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 2, 863–871 (1985). [CrossRef]
  11. L. Y. Cao, P. Fan, A. P. Vasudev, J. S. White, Z. Yu, W. Cai, J. A. Schuller, S. Fan, and M. L. Brongersma, “Semiconductor nanowire optical antenna solar absorbers,” Nano Lett. 10, 439–445 (2010). [CrossRef]
  12. M. B. Dühring, N. A. Mortensen, and O. Sigmund, “Plasmonic versus dielectric enhancement in thin-film solar cells,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 100, 211914 (2012). [CrossRef]
  13. O. D. Miller, V. Ganapati, and E. Yablonovitch, “Inverse design of a nano-scale surface texture for light trapping,” in CLEO: Science and Innovations, OSA Technical Digest (online) (Optical Society of America, 2012), paper CF2J.2.
  14. K. Q. Le, A. Abass, B. Maes, P. Bienstman, and A. Alù, “Comparing plasmonic and dielectric gratings for absorption enhancement in thin-film organic solar cells,” Opt. Express 20, A39–A50 (2012). [CrossRef]
  15. A. Polman, and H. A. Atwater, “Photonic design principles for ultrahigh-efficiency photovoltaics,” Nat. Mater. 11, 174–177 (2012). [CrossRef]
  16. M. P. Bendsøe and N. Kikuchi, “Generating optimal topologies in structural design using a homogenization method,” Comput. Methods.Appl. Mech.Eng. 71, 197–224 (1988). [CrossRef]
  17. M. P. Bendsøe and O. Sigmund, Topology Optimization—Theory, Methods and Applications (Springer-Verlag, 2003).
  18. S. J. Cox and D. C. Dobson, “Maximizing band gaps in two-dimensional photonic crystals,” SIAM J. Appl. Math. 59, 2108–2120 (1999). [CrossRef]
  19. O. Sigmund and J. S. Jensen, “Systematic design of phononic band gap materials and structures by topology optimization,” Philos. Trans. R. Soc. A 361, 1001–1019 (2003). [CrossRef]
  20. J. S. Jensen and O. Sigmund, “Topology optimization of photonic crystal structures: a high-bandwidth low-loss T-junction waveguide,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 22, 1191–1198 (2005). [CrossRef]
  21. Y. Tsuji, K. Hirayama, T. Nomura, K. Sato, and S. Nishiwaki, “Design of optical circuit devices based on topology optimization,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 18, 850–852 (2006). [CrossRef]
  22. P. I. Borel, A. Harpøth, L. H. Frandsen, M. Kristensen, J. S. Jensen, P. Shi, and O. Sigmund, “Topology optimization and fabrication of photonic crystal structures,” Opt. Express 12, 1996–2001 (2004). [CrossRef]
  23. J. Riishede and O. Sigmund, “Inverse design of dispersion compensating optical fibres using topology optimization,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 25, 88–97 (2008). [CrossRef]
  24. M. B. Dühring, O. Sigmund, and T. Feurer, “Design of photonic-bandgap fibers by topology optimization,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 27, 51–58 (2010). [CrossRef]
  25. K. Fuchi, A. R. Diaz, E. Rothwell, R. Ouedraogo, and A. Temme, “Topology optimization of periodic layouts of dielectric materials,” Struct. Multidiscip. Optim. 42, 483–493 (2010). [CrossRef]
  26. J. A. Andkjær, S. Nishiwaki, T. Nomura, and O. Sigmund, “Topology optimization of grating couplers for the efficient excitation of surface plasmons,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 27, 1828–1832 (2010). [CrossRef]
  27. K. S. Friis, and O. Sigmund, “Robust topology design of periodic grating surfaces,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 29, 2935–2943 (2012). [CrossRef]
  28. J. S. Jensen and O. Sigmund, “Topology optimization for nano-photonics,” Laser Photon. Rev. 5, 308–321 (2011). [CrossRef]
  29. U. Basu and A. K. Chopra, “Perfectly matched layers for time-harmonic elastodynamics of unbounded domains: theory and finite-element implementation,” Comput. Methods Appl. Mech. Eng. 192, 1337–1375 (2003). [CrossRef]
  30. R. R. Syms and J. R. Cozens, Optical Guided Waves and Devices (McGraw-Hill, 1992).
  31. COMSOL AB, “COMSOL reference manual for COMSOL 3.5, 3.5 edition” (COMSOL AB,Stockholm, Sweden).
  32. Virginia Semiconductor, Inc., “Optical properties of silicon,” www.virginiasemi.com.
  33. A. D. Rakic, A. B. Djurišic, J. M. Elazar, and M. L. Majewski, “Optical properties of metallic films for vertical-cavity optoelectronic devices,” Appl. Opt. 37, 5271–5283 (1998). [CrossRef]
  34. K. Svanberg, “The method of moving asymptotes—a new method for structural optimization,” Int. J. Num. Methods Eng. 24, 359–373 (1987). [CrossRef]
  35. D. A. Tortorelli and P. Michaleris, “Design sensitivity analysis: overview and review,” Inverse Probl. Eng. 1, 71–105 (1994). [CrossRef]
  36. L. H. Olesen, F. Okkels, and H. Bruus, “A high-level programming-language implementation of topology optimization applied to steady-state Navier-Stokes flow,” Int. J. Num. Methods Eng. 65, 975–1001 (2006). [CrossRef]

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited