Terahertz (THz) optoelectronics have great potentials in communication, imaging, sensing and security applications. However, the state-of-the-art fabrication processes for THz devices are costly and time-consuming. In this work, we present a novel laser-based metamaterial fabrication (LMF) process for high-throughput fabrication of transparent conducting surfaces on dielectric substrates such as quartz and transparent polymers to achieve tunable THz bandpass filtering characteristics. The LMF process comprises two steps: (1) applying ultrathin-film metal deposition, with a typical thickness of 10 nm, on the dielectric substrate; (2) creating periodic surface pattern with a feature size of ~100 microns on the metal film using nanosecond pulsed laser ablation. Our results demonstrate the LMF-fabricated ultra-thin metal film exhibits newly integrated functionalities: (a) highly conductive with sheet resistance of ~20 Ω/sq; (b) optically transparent with visible transmittance of ~70%; (c) tunable bandpass filtering effect in the THz frequency range; and (d) extraordinary mechanical durability during repeated fatigue bending cycles. The scientific findings from this work will render an economical and scalable manufacturing technique capable of treating large surface area for multi-functional THz metamaterials.
Nanostructured black silicon (bSi) exhibits a broadband antireflection (AR) response due to graded-index and scattering effects, unlike traditional quarter-wavelength dielectric AR coatings. We present various techniques to improve the front- and back-surface performance of nanostructured bSi solar cells. Ammonium dihydrogen phosphate (ADP) is used for proximity doping to reduce the physical impact on the bSi nanostructures during front-surface emitter formation. An optimum concentration of 2 wt. % of ADP is found to result in a typical solar cell emitter sheet resistivity of 50 Ω / sq. Potassium hydroxide is used to etch off the highly doped region of the bSi solar cell front emitter, which results in lower surface recombination and up to a 23% increase in short wavelength (400 to 600 nm) internal quantum efficiency of the bSi solar cell. To reduce the series resistance and enhance surface passivation, forming gas anneal is employed, improving bSi cell’s overall efficiency by over 31%. By optimizing the back-surface-field formed by sputtered aluminum (Al), the backside recombination rate is reduced, improving external quantum efficiency by up to 11% in the long wavelength (>900 nm) region.