Abstract

There is immense scientific interest in the properties of resonant thin films embroidered with periodic nanoscale features. This device class possesses considerable innovation potential. Accordingly, we report unpolarized broadband reflectors enabled by a serial arrangement of a pair of polarized subwavelength gratings. Optimized with numerical methods, our elemental gratings consist of a partially etched crystalline-silicon film on a quartz substrate. The resulting reflectors exhibit extremely wide spectral reflection bands in one polarization. By arranging two such reflectors sequentially with orthogonal periodicities, there results an unpolarized spectral band that exceeds those of the individual polarized bands. In the experiments reported herein, we achieve zero-order reflectance exceeding 97% under unpolarized light incidence over a 500 nm wide wavelength band. This wideband represents a 44% fractional band in the near infrared. Moreover, the resonant unpolarized broadband accommodates an ultra-high reflection band spanning 85  nm and exceeding 99.9% in efficiency. The elemental polarization-sensitive reflectors based on one-dimensional (1D) resonant gratings have a simple design and robust performance, and are straightforward to fabricate. Hence, this technology is a promising alternative to traditional multilayer thin-film reflectors, especially at longer wavelengths of light where multilayer deposition may be infeasible or impractical.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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