Multifunctional Silicon Optoelectronics Integrated with Plasmonic Scattering Color

Plasmonic scattering from metallic nanoparticles has been used for centuries to create the colorful appearance of stained glass. Besides their use as passive spectral filtering components, multifunctional optoelectronic applications can be achieved by integrating the nanoscatters with semiconductors that generate electricity using the complementary spectral components of plasmonic colors. To suppress the usual degradation of both efficiency and the gamut of plasmonic scattering coloration in highly asymmetric index configurations like a silicon host, aluminum nanodisks on indium tin oxide (ITO) coated silicon were experimentally studied and demonstrated color sorting in the full visible range along with photocurrent generation. Interestingly, the photocurrents were found to be comparable to the reference devices with only antireflection coatings in spite of the power loss for coloration. Detailed investigation shows that ITO serves as both the impedance matching layer for promoting the backward scattering and schottky contact with silicon, and moreover, plasmonic nanoscatters efficiently harvest the complement spectrum components for charge generation. The present approach combines the capacities of nanoscale color sorting and photoelectric converting at a negligible cost of efficiency, thus providing a broad flexibility of being utilized in various optoelectronic applications including self-powered display, filter-free imaging, and colorful photovoltaics.