Intrinsically core-shell plasmonic dielectric nanostructures with ultrahigh refractive index

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Science Advances  25 Mar 2016:
Vol. 2, no. 3, e1501536
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1501536

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Topological insulators are a new class of quantum materials with metallic (edge) surface states and insulating bulk states. They demonstrate a variety of novel electronic and optical properties, which make them highly promising electronic, spintronic, and optoelectronic materials. We report on a novel conic plasmonic nanostructure that is made of bulk-insulating topological insulators and has an intrinsic core-shell formation. The insulating (dielectric) core of the nanocone displays an ultrahigh refractive index of up to 5.5 in the near-infrared frequency range. On the metallic shell, plasmonic response and strong backward light scattering were observed in the visible frequency range. Through integrating the nanocone arrays into a-Si thin film solar cells, up to 15% enhancement of light absorption was predicted in the ultraviolet and visible ranges. With these unique features, the intrinsically core-shell plasmonic nanostructure paves a new way for designing low-loss and high-performance visible to infrared optical devices.

  • Topological insulator
  • core shell
  • plasmonics
  • dielectric
  • refractive Index

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