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Enhanced light absorption in all-polymer biomimetic photonic structures by near-zero-index organic matter
preprintposted on 2023-01-12, 14:34 authored by Miguel A. Castillo, C. Estévez-Varela, William P. Wardley, R. Serna, I. Pastoriza-Santos, S. Núñez-Sánchez, Martin Lopez-Garcia
Natural photosynthetic photonic nanostructures can show sophisticated light matter-interactions including enhanced light absorption by slow light even for highly pigmented systems. Beyond fundamental biology aspects these natural nanostructures are very attractive as blueprints for advanced photonic devices. But the soft-matter biomimetic implementations of such nanostructures is challenging due to the low refractive index contrast of most organic photonic structures. Excitonic organic material with near zero index (NZI) optical properties allow overcoming these bottlenecks. Here we demonstrate that the combination of NZI thin films into photonic multilayers like the ones found in nature enables broadband tuneable strong reflectance as well as slow light absorption enhancement and tailored photoluminescence properties in the full VIS spectrum. Moreover, it is shown that this complex optical response is tuneable, paving the way towards the development of active devices based on all polymer and near zero index materials photonic structures.