Broadband polarization-insensitive metamaterial perfect absorbers using topology optimization

Sze Ming Fu, Yan Kai Zhong, Nyan Ping Ju, Ming Hsiang Tu, Bo Ruei Chen, Shih-Chun Lin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


A novel scheme for a perfect hyperbolic metamaterial (HMM) absorber is proposed, and experimental verification is provided. It has been shown previously that tapered HMM stacks can provide adiabatic waveguiding over a wide spectral range and thus are an ideal opaque absorber. Here, nontapered shape-optimized HMM absorbers are proposed, which facilitates the fabrication and promotes the large-area applications such as thermophotovoltaics (TPV). In the synthesis of the optimal patterns, we use 5-harmonic rigorously coupled wave analysis (RCWA) and experimental trials to shorten the trial-and-error time. The best pattern provides an averaged broadband experimental absorption of 88.38% over λ = 1 μm to λ = 2 μm, which is comparable to the state-of-the-art experimental effort using tapered HMM. The nontapered nature can be easier to fabricate from the semiconductor processing viewpoint. The physics behind the pattern-optimized HMM cavity is the broadband light coupling by the air-cavity and the unbounded photonic density of the states (PDOS) associated with the HMM. The topology optimized air cavity effectively couples the incident photons into the metal-dielectric stacking, eliminating the need of sidewall tapers. We believe the proposed topology-optimization methodology benefits the future design of compact metamaterial perfect absorbers (MPA), sensors, antenna, and thermophotovoltaic emitters, and absorbers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4600311
JournalIEEE Photonics Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2016


  • Diffractive optics
  • metamaterials
  • photovoltaic
  • plasmonics
  • silicon nanophotonics

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