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Sensitive singular-phase optical detection without phase measurements with Tamm plasmons

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posted on 2023-11-30, 05:43 authored by Svetlana V Boriskina, Yoichiro Tsurimaki
Spectrally-tailored interactions of light with material interfaces offer many exciting applications in sensing, photo-detection, and optical energy conversion. In particular, complete suppression of light reflectance at select frequencies accompanied by sharp phase variations in the reflected signal forms the basis for the development of ultra-sensitive singular-phase optical detection schemes such as Brewster and surface plasmon interferometry. However, both the Brewster effect and surface-plasmon-mediated absorption on planar interfaces are limited to one polarization of the incident light and oblique excitation angles, and may have limited bandwidth dictated by the material dielectric index and plasma frequency. To alleviate these limitations, we design narrow-band super-absorbers composed of plasmonic materials embedded into dielectric photonic nanostructures with topologically-protected interfacial Tamm plasmon states. These structures have planar geometry and do not require nanopatterning to achieve perfect absorption of both polarizations of the incident light in a wide range of incident angles, including the normal incidence. Their absorption lines are tunable across a very broad spectral range via engineering of the photon bandstructure of the dielectric photonic nanostructures to achieve reversal of the geometrical phase across the interface with the plasmonic absorber. We outline the design strategy to achieve perfect absorptance in Tamm structures with dissipative losses via conjugate impedance matching. We further demonstrate via modeling how these structures can be engineered to support sharp asymmetric amplitude resonances, which can be used to improve the sensitivity of optical sensors in the amplitude-only detection scheme that does not require use of bulky and expensive ellipsometry equipment.

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