Highly efficient infrared photodetectors based on plasmonic metamaterials and vanadium dioxide
Zufelt, Kyle Benjamin
Current generation infrared (IR) photodetection requires a tradeoff between sensitivity and practicality. For applications requiring high sensitivity, the available options require varying levels of expensive and bulky cryocooling to reduce noise or to enable detection. Cheaper, more portable devices suffer from low quantum efficiencies or relatively slow recovery speeds. Computational and experimental studies have been performed to investigate the possibility of realizing a highly efficient, room temperature IR photodetector through plasmonic enhancement of a vanadium dioxide (VO2) bolometer. By incorporating metamaterial and plasmonic antenna geometries exhibiting near unity absorption and high field confinement, the photon flux requirement for a detection event can be significantly reduced. Several geometries were explored with promising theoretical performance, and improvements to these designs are suggested based on initial experimental results.