Materials for hot carrier plasmonics [Invited]

Materials for hot carrier plasmonics [Invited]

Year:2015
Author(s):Tao Gong and Jeremy N. Munday
Citation(s):Optical Materials Express, 5, 2501-2512 (2015)

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Abstract: While the field of plasmonics has grown significantly in recent years, the relatively high losses and limited material choices have remained a challenge for the development of many device concepts. The decay of plasmons into hot carrier excitations is one of the main loss mechanisms; however, this process offers an opportunity for the direct utilization of loss if excited carriers can be collected prior to thermalization. From a materials point-of-view, noble metals (especially gold and silver) are almost exclusively employed in these hot carrier plasmonic devices; nevertheless, many other materials may offer advantages for collecting these hot carriers. In this manuscript, we present results for 16 materials ranging from pure metals and alloys to nanowires and graphene and show their potential applicability for hot carrier excitation and extraction. By considering the expected hot carrier distributions based on the electron density of states for the materials, we predict the preferred hot carrier type for collection and their expected performance under different illumination conditions. By considering materials not traditionally used in plasmonics, we find many promising alternative materials for the emerging field of hot carrier plasmonics.