Coherent perfect absorption in deeply subwavelength films in the single-photon regime

Roger, T. et al. (2015) Coherent perfect absorption in deeply subwavelength films in the single-photon regime. Nature Communications, 6, 7031. (doi: 10.1038/ncomms8031) (PMID:25991584) (PMCID:PMC4455071)

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The technologies of heating, photovoltaics, water photocatalysis and artificial photosynthesis depend on the absorption of light and novel approaches such as coherent absorption from a standing wave promise total dissipation of energy. Extending the control of absorption down to very low light levels and eventually to the single-photon regime is of great interest and yet remains largely unexplored. Here we demonstrate the coherent absorption of single photons in a deeply subwavelength 50% absorber. We show that while the absorption of photons from a travelling wave is probabilistic, standing wave absorption can be observed deterministically, with nearly unitary probability of coupling a photon into a mode of the material, for example, a localized plasmon when this is a metamaterial excited at the plasmon resonance. These results bring a better understanding of the coherent absorption process, which is of central importance for light harvesting, detection, sensing and photonic data processing applications.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work is supported by the MOE Singapore (grant MOE2011-T3-1-005), the Leverhulme Trust, the Royal Society, the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council through the Nanostructured Photonic Metamaterials Programme Grant and NTU-NAP startup grant no. M4080511. D.F. acknowledges financial support from the European Research Council under the European Unions Seventh Framework Programme (FP/2007–2013)/ERC GA 306559 and EPSRC (UK, Grant EP/J00443X/1). C.C. would like to thank the Champagne-Ardenne region for financial support via the visiting professor scheme and to thank the support of the French LABEX Action. This work is part funded by the Ministry of Defence and is published with the permission of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory on behalf of the Controller of HMSO.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Vezzoli, Dr Stefano and Faccio, Professor Daniele and Valente, Dr Joao and Leach, Mr Jonathan
Authors: Roger, T., Vezzoli, S., Bolduc, E., Valente, J., Heitz, J. J.F., Jeffers, J., Soci, C., Leach, J., Couteau, C., Zheludev, N. I., and Faccio, D.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Electronics and Nanoscale Engineering
Journal Name:Nature Communications
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN (Online):2041-1723
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited
First Published:First published in Nature Communications 6:7031
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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