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Energy Express

  • Editor: Christian Seassal
  • Vol. 22, Iss. S3 — May. 5, 2014
  • pp: A930–A940

Near-unity broadband absorption designs for semiconducting nanowire arrays via localized radial mode excitation

Katherine T. Fountaine, Christian G. Kendall, and Harry A. Atwater  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 22, Issue S3, pp. A930-A940 (2014)

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We report design methods for achieving near-unity broadband light absorption in sparse nanowire arrays, illustrated by results for visible absorption in GaAs nanowires on Si substrates. Sparse (<5% fill fraction) nanowire arrays achieve near unity absorption at wire resonant wavelengths due to coupling into ‘leaky’ radial waveguide modes of individual wires and wire-wire scattering processes. From a detailed conceptual development of radial mode resonant absorption, we demonstrate two specific geometric design approaches to achieve near unity broadband light absorption in sparse nanowire arrays: (i) introducing multiple wire radii within a small unit cell array to increase the number of resonant wavelengths, yielding a 15% absorption enhancement relative to a uniform nanowire array and (ii) tapering of nanowires to introduce a continuum of diameters and thus resonant wavelengths excited within a single wire, yielding an 18% absorption enhancement over a uniform nanowire array.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(160.6000) Materials : Semiconductor materials
(220.2740) Optical design and fabrication : Geometric optical design
(350.6050) Other areas of optics : Solar energy
(350.4238) Other areas of optics : Nanophotonics and photonic crystals

ToC Category:
Light Trapping for Photovoltaics

Original Manuscript: February 10, 2014
Revised Manuscript: April 6, 2014
Manuscript Accepted: April 6, 2014
Published: April 18, 2014

Katherine T. Fountaine, Christian G. Kendall, and Harry A. Atwater, "Near-unity broadband absorption designs for semiconducting nanowire arrays via localized radial mode excitation," Opt. Express 22, A930-A940 (2014)

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