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Optics Letters

Optics Letters


  • Editor: Alan E. Willner
  • Vol. 38, Iss. 20 — Oct. 15, 2013
  • pp: 4200–4203

Light trapping and near-unity solar absorption in a three-dimensional photonic-crystal

Ping Kuang, Alexei Deinega, Mei-Li Hsieh, Sajeev John, and Shawn-Yu Lin  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Letters, Vol. 38, Issue 20, pp. 4200-4203 (2013)

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We report what is to our knowledge the first observation of the effect of parallel-to-interface-refraction (PIR) in a three-dimensional, simple-cubic photonic-crystal. PIR is an acutely negative refraction of light inside a photonic-crystal, leading to light-bending by nearly 90 deg over broad wavelengths (λ). The consequence is a longer path length of light in the medium and an improved light absorption beyond the Lambertian limit. As an illustration of the effect, we show near-unity total absorption (98%) in λ=520620nm and an average absorption of 94% over λ=400700nm for our α-Si:H photonic-crystal sample of an equivalent bulk thickness of t˜=450nm. Furthermore, we have achieved an ultra-wide angular acceptance of light over θ=0°80°. This demonstration opens up a new door for light trapping and near-unity solar absorption over broad λs and wide angles.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(350.6050) Other areas of optics : Solar energy
(050.5298) Diffraction and gratings : Photonic crystals

ToC Category:
Diffraction and Gratings

Original Manuscript: July 25, 2013
Manuscript Accepted: September 2, 2013
Published: October 14, 2013

Ping Kuang, Alexei Deinega, Mei-Li Hsieh, Sajeev John, and Shawn-Yu Lin, "Light trapping and near-unity solar absorption in a three-dimensional photonic-crystal," Opt. Lett. 38, 4200-4203 (2013)

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