Anti-Hermitian photodetector facilitating efficient subwavelength photon sorting

Kim, S.J., Kang, J.H., Mutlu, M., Park, J., Park, W., Goodson, K.E., Sinclair, R., Fan, S., Kik, P.G. and Brongersma, M.L., 2018, “Anti-Hermitian photodetector facilitating efficient subwavelength photon sorting,” Nature Communications, Vol. 9, article 316.

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The ability to split an incident light beam into separate wavelength bands is central to a diverse set of optical applications, including imaging, biosensing, communication, photocatalysis, and photovoltaics. Entirely new opportunities are currently emerging with the recently demonstrated possibility to spectrally split light at a subwavelength scale with optical antennas. Unfortunately, such small structures offer limited spectral control and are hard to exploit in optoelectronic devices. Here, we overcome both challenges and demonstrate how within a single-layer metafilm one can laterally sort photons of different wavelengths below the free-space diffraction limit and extract a useful photocurrent. This chipscale demonstration of anti-Hermitian coupling between resonant photodetector elements also facilitates near-unity photon-sorting efficiencies, near-unity absorption, and a narrow spectral response (∼ 30 nm) for the different wavelength channels. This work opens up entirely new design paradigms for image sensors and energy harvesting systems in which the active elements both sort and detect photons.

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