3 years ago

Limits to the Optical Response of Graphene and Two-Dimensional Materials

Limits to the Optical Response of Graphene and Two-Dimensional Materials
Thomas Christensen, Ognjen Ilic, Marin Soljačić, Harry A. Atwater, Owen D. Miller, Steven G. Johnson, John D. Joannopoulos, M. T. Homer Reid
Two-dimensional (2D) materials provide a platform for strong light–matter interactions, creating wide-ranging design opportunities via new-material discoveries and new methods for geometrical structuring. We derive general upper bounds to the strength of such light–matter interactions, given only the optical conductivity of the material, including spatial nonlocality, and otherwise independent of shape and configuration. Our material figure-of-merit shows that highly doped graphene is an optimal material at infrared frequencies, whereas single-atomic-layer silver is optimal in the visible. For quantities ranging from absorption and scattering to near-field spontaneous-emission enhancements and radiative heat transfer, we consider canonical geometrical structures and show that in certain cases the bounds can be approached, while in others there may be significant opportunity for design improvement. The bounds can encourage systematic improvements in the design of ultrathin broadband absorbers, 2D antennas, and near-field energy harvesters.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b02007

DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b02007

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