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Condition for Perfect Resonant Antireflection

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 June 2015

Ken Xingze Wang
Department of Applied Physics, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, U.S.A.
Shanhui Fan
Department of Electrical Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, U.S.A.
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Reflection occurs at an air-material interface. The development of antireflection schemes, which aims to cancel such reflection, is important for a wide variety of applications including solar cells and photodetectors. Recently, it has been demonstrated that a periodic array of resonant subwavelength objects placed at an air-material interface can significantly reduce reflection that otherwise would have occurred at such an interface. Here, we introduce the theoretical condition for complete reflection cancellation in this resonant antireflection scheme. Using both general theoretical arguments and analytical temporal coupled-mode theory formalisms, we show that in order to achieve perfect resonant antireflection, the periodicity of the array needs to be smaller than the free-space wavelength of the incident light for normal incidence, and also the resonances in the subwavelength objects need to radiate into air and the dielectric material in a balanced fashion. Our theory is validated using first-principles full-field electromagnetic simulations of structures operating in the infrared wavelength ranges. For solar cell or photodetector applications, resonant antireflection has the potential of providing a low-cost technique for antireflection that does not require nanofabrication into the absorber materials, which may introduce detrimental effects such as additional surface recombination. Our work here provides theoretical guidance for the practical design of such resonant antireflection schemes.

Copyright © Materials Research Society 2015 

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