Plasmonic materials based on ZnO films and their potential for developing broadband middle-infrared absorbers
Noble metals such as gold and silver have been extensively used for plasmonic applications due to their ability to support plasmons, yet they suffer from high intrinsic losses. Alternative plasmonic materials that offer low loss and tunability are desired for a new generation of efficient and agile devices. In this paper, atomic layer deposition (ALD) grown ZnO is investigated as a candidate material for plasmonic applications. Optical constants of ZnO are investigated along with figures of merit pertaining to plasmonic waveguides. We show that ZnO can alleviate the trade-off between propagation length and mode confinement width owing to tunable dielectric properties. In order to demonstrate plasmonic resonances, we simulate a grating structure and computationally demonstrate an ultra-wide-band (4-15 μm) infrared absorber. © 2014 Author(s).