4 years ago

Near-IR Imaging Based on Hot Carrier Generation in Nanometer-Scale Optical Coatings

Near-IR Imaging Based on Hot Carrier Generation in Nanometer-Scale Optical Coatings
Elizabeth M. Tennyson, Lisa J. Krayer, Marina S. Leite, Jeremy N. Munday
Silicon is the most widely used material for visible photodetection, with extensive applications in both consumer and industrial products. Further, its excellent optoelectronic properties and natural abundance have made it nearly ideal for microelectronic devices and solar cells. However, its lack of absorption in the infrared precludes its use in infrared detectors and imaging sensors, severely constraining its implementation in telecommunications. Here we show that this limitation can be overcome by exploiting resonant absorption in ultrathin metal films (<20 nm). Through appropriate optical design, a zeroth-order Fabry–Perot resonance is achieved, enabling ∼80% light absorption below the bandgap of the semiconductor. Absorption within the metal film results in excitation and injection of hot carriers through a Schottky junction into the Si. We experimentally demonstrate this phenomenon with four ultrathin planar metal films (Pt, Fe, Cr, and Ti), chosen to satisfy the resonant condition over a wide range of wavelengths (1200–1600 nm), and realize a near-infrared imaging detector. Our approach paves the way to implement a scalable, lithography free, and low-cost route to obtain silicon-based optoelectronics beyond the material bandgap.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsphotonics.7b01021

DOI: 10.1021/acsphotonics.7b01021

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