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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 20, Iss. 12 — Jun. 4, 2012
  • pp: 13040–13054

Mid-IR near-perfect absorption with a SiC photonic crystal with angle-controlled polarization selectivity

G. C. R. Devarapu and S. Foteinopoulou  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 20, Issue 12, pp. 13040-13054 (2012)

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We theoretically investigate mid-IR absorption enhancement with a SiC one-dimensional photonic crystal (PC) microstructure at the frequency regime of the phonon-polariton band gap, where efficient absorption is unattainable in the bulk material. Our study reveals an intricate relationship between absorption efficiency and the energy velocity of light propagation, that is far more complex than hitherto believed. In particular, our findings suggest that absorption peaks away from the photonic-crystal band edge where energy velocity is minimum. While efficient absorption is still associated with a slow-light mode, the latter is faster by at least an order of magnitude in comparison to the bulk material. Moreover, our calculations suggest that absorption becomes optimal when light gradually slow downs as it enters the PC. Relying on this insight, we achieved near-perfect absorption around the phonon-polariton mid-gap frequency with a PC with a suitably terminated end face. We further demonstrate that the near-perfect absorptive property can be tuned with the incident light angle, to be polarization insensitive or polarization selective. We believe our proposed non-metallic paradigm opens up a new route for harnessing infrared absorption with semiconductor and ionic-crystal materials.

© 2012 OSA

OCIS Codes
(160.1890) Materials : Detector materials
(160.6000) Materials : Semiconductor materials
(230.5440) Optical devices : Polarization-selective devices
(300.1030) Spectroscopy : Absorption
(350.3950) Other areas of optics : Micro-optics
(160.1245) Materials : Artificially engineered materials
(160.5298) Materials : Photonic crystals

ToC Category:
Photonic Crystals

Original Manuscript: April 26, 2012
Revised Manuscript: May 18, 2012
Manuscript Accepted: May 19, 2012
Published: May 24, 2012

G. C. R. Devarapu and S. Foteinopoulou, "Mid-IR near-perfect absorption with a SiC photonic crystal with angle-controlled polarization selectivity," Opt. Express 20, 13040-13054 (2012)

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