Bismuth-based metamaterials: From narrowband reflective color filter to extremely broadband near perfect absorber
In recent years, sub-wavelength metamaterials-based light perfect absorbers have been the subject of many studies. The most frequently utilized absorber configuration is based on nanostructured plasmonic metals. However, two main drawbacks were raised for this design architecture. One is the fabrication complexity and large scale incompatibility of these nano units. The other one is the inherent limitation of these common metals which mostly operate in the visible frequency range. Recently, strong interference effects in lithography-free planar multilayer designs have been proposed as a solution for tackling these drawbacks. In this paper, we reveal the extraordinary potential of bismuth (Bi) metal in achieving light perfect absorption in a planar design through a broad wavelength regime. For this aim, we adopted a modeling approach based on the transfer matrix method (TMM) to find the ideal conditions for light perfect absorption. According to the findings of our modeling and numerical simulations, it was demonstrated that the use of Bi in the metal-insulator-metal-insulator (MIMI) configuration can simultaneously provide two distinct functionalities; a narrow near unity reflection response and an ultra-broadband near perfect absorption. The reflection behavior can be employed to realize additive color filters in the visible range, while the ultra-broadband absorption response of the design can fully harvest solar irradiation in the visible and near infrared (NIR) ranges. The findings of this paper demonstrate the extraordinary potential of Bi metal for the design of deep sub-wavelength optical devices.