Abstract

We demonstrate a broadband visible-light absorber based on excitation of multiple propagating surface plasmon (PSP) resonances. The simple structure is constructed of continuous gold/silica multi-layers covered by a one-dimensional gold grating. The broadening of bandwidth arises from the inter-layer hybridization and spectral superposition of PSPs, which is predicted with the analytical coupled oscillator model and validated using the RCWA simulation. The average absorption increases with the number of gold/silica pairs and exceeds 95% over the whole visible spectrum when only five pairs are included. Moreover, results show that the absorption can be further enhanced by grading the thickness of silica layers. The presented design might enable promising applications in the fields of photovoltaic cells and thermal emitters, owing to its advantages of wideband, near-unity absorption and simple fabrication simultaneously.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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