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Journal of Sensors and Sensor Systems An open-access peer-reviewed journal
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Volume 5, issue 1
J. Sens. Sens. Syst., 5, 171–178, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/jsss-5-171-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Special issue: Sensor/IRS2 2015

J. Sens. Sens. Syst., 5, 171–178, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/jsss-5-171-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Regular research article 18 May 2016

Regular research article | 18 May 2016

Enhanced wavelength-selective absorber for thermal detectors based on metamaterials

Astrit Shoshi1, Thomas Maier2, and Hubert Brueckl1 Astrit Shoshi et al.
  • 1Center for Integrated Sensor Systems, Danube University Krems, 2700 Wr. Neustadt, Austria
  • 2Molecular Diagnostics, Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH, 1220 Vienna, Austria

Abstract. The dissipative electromagnetic energy absorption of tailored metamaterials can be exploited to improve the spectral sensitivity and selectivity of thermal detectors. The desired detector characteristics are engineered by tuning the single- or multiband absorption by resonance frequency, magnitude, and spectral bandwidth, strongly depending on the geometrical design of metamaterials. Here, the optical absorption properties of trilayer and multilayer resonant structures are investigated by numerical simulations. We consider isotropic, i.e., polarization-independent, disk-shaped absorber elements consisting of alternating aluminium and aluminium nitride layers of nanometer thicknesses, thus representing low-mass absorbers. Trilayer absorbers show spectral resonances at wavelengths between 2 and 6 µm, reaching near-unity absorption with peak bandwidths ranging from 0.45 to 1.05 µm. The absorption characteristics remain almost unchanged for radiation with an oblique incidence angle up to 40°. Resonant structures of multilayer absorber elements show besides spectral broadening a dual-band perfect absorption, which are suitable for simultaneous multispectral infrared imaging.

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Metamaterials are artificial composite structures with unusual physical properties such as the perfect absorption of light, which can be exploited to improve the spectral sensitivity and selectivity of thermal detectors. The desired detector characteristics are engineered by tuning the absorption properties of metamaterials. The numerical simulations demonstrate polarization-independent absorption of disc-shaped dielectric/metallic absorbers and their integration capability in thermal detectors.
Metamaterials are artificial composite structures with unusual physical properties such as the...
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