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Tunable IR perfect absorbers enabled by tungsten doped VO2 thin films

  • Authors: Larciprete, Maria Cristina; Ceneda, Daniele; Scirè, Daniele; Mosca, Mauro; Persano Adorno, Dominique; Dereshgi, Sina Abedini; Macaluso, Roberto; Li Voti, Roberto; Sibilia, Concita; Cesca, Tiziana; Mattei, Giovanni; Aydin, Koray; Centini, Marco
  • Publication year: 2023
  • Type: Articolo in rivista
  • OA Link:


The temperature tunability of complex dielectric constants of vanadium dioxide (VO2) makes it a promising phase-change material for use in active, dynamic, tunable photonics applications. Specifically, the semiconductor-to-metal phase transition in VO2 enables reversible, broadband, and large complex refractive index variation and paves the way for a plethora of applications. Although the critical temperature for phase-transition is 68 °C for VO2 films, its transition temperature can be reduced to room temperature by tungsten-doping of vanadium dioxide. Such a degree of freedom in controlling the critical temperature through tungsten doping provides further tunability of the thermochromic behavior. In this work, we investigate a variety of W-doped VO2 thin films deposited by laser ablation of targets with increasing W doping content and report detailed infrared characterization together with numerical simulations. Our experimental results indicate that the perfect absorption can be achieved at different temperatures, within the VO2 insulator-to-metal phase transition process, as a function of W doping content. Tunable subwavelength layers allow perfect absorption under different temperature conditions around λ = 12 µm. We show that a high dynamic range of reflectivity can be achieved when the temperature is increased above the phase transition temperature. Furthermore, we observe perfect absorption at 11.8 µm at room temperature for a W content of 0.75%. We believe that W-doped VO2 thin films with tunable and controllable perfect absorption will open the way for a class of promising thermo-optical devices including thermos-photovoltaics, infrared filters, radiative cooling devices, and thermal emitters.