Abstract

A finite-element method for calculating the illumination-dependence of absorption in three-dimensional nanostructures is presented based on the radio frequency module of the Comsol Multiphysics software package (Comsol AB). This method is capable of numerically determining the optical response and near-field distribution of subwavelength periodic structures as a function of illumination orientations specified by polar angle, φ, and azimuthal angle, γ. The method was applied to determine the illumination-angle-dependent absorptance in cavity-based superconducting-nanowire single-photon detector (SNSPD) designs. Niobium-nitride stripes based on dimensions of conventional SNSPDs and integrated with ∼ quarter-wavelength hydrogen-silsesquioxane-filled nano-optical cavity and covered by a thin gold film acting as a reflector were illuminated from below by p-polarized light in this study. The numerical results were compared to results from complementary transfer-matrix-method calculations on composite layers made of analogous film-stacks. This comparison helped to uncover the optical phenomena contributing to the appearance of extrema in the optical response. This paper presents an approach to optimizing the absorptance of different sensing and detecting devices via simultaneous numerical optimization of the polar and azimuthal illumination angles.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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