All ceramic-based metal-free ultra-broadband perfect absorber
In this paper, we scrutinize unprecedented potential of transition metal carbides (TMCs) and nitrides (TMNs) for realization of light perfect absorption in an ultra-broad frequency range encompassing all of the visible (Vis) and near infrared (NIR) regions. For this purpose, two different configurations which are planar and trapezoidal array are employed. To gain insight on the condition for light perfect absorption, a systematic modeling approach based on transfer matrix method (TMM) is firstly utilized. Our modeling findings prove that the permittivity data of these TMCs and TMNs are closely matched with the ideal data. Thus, they can have stronger and broader absorption behavior compared to metals. Besides, these ceramic materials are preferred to metals due to the fact that they have better thermal properties and higher durability against erosion and oxidation than metals. This could provide the opportunity for design of highly efficient light harvesting systems with long-term stability. Numerical simulations are conducted to optimize the device optical performance for each of the proposed carbides and nitrides. Our findings reveal that these ceramic coatings have the broadest absorption response compared to all lossy and plasmonic metals. In planar configuration, titanium carbide (TiC) has the largest absorption bandwidth (BW) where an absorption above 0.9 is retained over a broad wavelength range of 405–1495 nm. In trapezoid architecture, vanadium nitride (VN) shows the widest BW covering a range from 300 to 2500 nm. The results of this study can serve as a beacon for the design of future high-performance energy conversion devices including solar vapor generation and thermal photovoltaics where both optical and thermal requirements can be satisfied.