Electromagnetic Absorbers Based on Metamaterial and Plasmonic Devices

Authors: Christos Argyropoulos

Source: FERMAT, Volume 2, Article 2, Mar.-Apr., 2014

Abstract: The objective of this paper is to focus on reviewing the recent advances in research on metamaterial and plasmonic absorbers. Metamaterials provide excellent flexibility, robustness and tunability to efficiently control and manipulate the absorption of electromagnetic energy in unprecedented ways compared to natural absorbing materials. They are mainly fabricated by using ultrathin metallic parts and their operation is based on physical mechanisms that are different from those of the conventional microwave absorbers which are usually quite bulky, since they typically utilize lossy magnetodielectric materials. The unique metallic nature of metamaterials and their ultrathin dimensions can lead to novel functionalities when combined with their highly absorbing properties, such as manipulation of absorption of electromagnetic radiation and the reciprocal effect of thermal emission of electromagnetic waves, which occurs when they are heated. All the presented electromagnetic absorber designs can be scaled up or down to both low and high frequencies, to operate at microwaves, THz, infrared and optics. This can be achieved by just changing the dimensions and properties of each device depending on the particular application. It will be shown that these devices provide an ideal platform for taming and controlling the absorption by metallic structures in unique ways. The use of absorbers based on metamaterial and plasmonic structures can lead to the design of new bolometers, efficient energy harvesting devices and novel thermophotovoltaic structures.

Index Terms: Metamaterials, Plasmonics, Absorption, Solar cells, Bolometers, Photovoltaic technology.

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Electromagnetic Absorbers Based on Metamaterial and Plasmonic Devices