Redesigning Photodetector Electrodes as an Optical Antenna

Nano Letters (Impact Factor: 13.59). 01/2013; 13(2). DOI: 10.1021/nl303535s
Source: PubMed


At the nanoscale, semiconductor and metallic structures naturally exhibit strong, tunable optical resonances that can be utilized to enhance light-matter interaction and to dramatically increase the performance of chipscale photonic elements. Here, we demonstrate that the metallic leads used to extract current from a Ge nanowire (NW) photodetector can be redesigned to serve as optical antennas capable of concentrating light in the NW. The NW itself can also be made optically resonant and an overall performance optimization involves a careful tuning of both resonances. We show that such a procedure can result in broadband absorption enhancements of up to a factor 1.7 at a target wavelength of 660 nm and an ability to control the detector's polarization-dependent response. The results of this study demonstrate the critical importance of performing a joint optimization of the electrical and optical properties of the metallic and semiconductor building blocks in optoelectronic devices with nanoscale components.

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