Dipole emitters used in nano optics and nanophotonics (e.g., fluorescent molecules or quantum dots) are weak radiators and thus detecting the radiation of a single emitter gets possible only if it is significantly enhanced. For this enhancement, one often utilizes resonant nanoantennas (Purcell's effect); this method, however, requires the exact knowledge of source location and radiation frequency which constitute a significant drawback. One known possibility for broadband location-insensitive radiation enhancement is to use a layer of the so-called hyperbolic metamaterial. However, the enhanced radiated energy is mainly directed into the volume of the lossy medium, where it is lost to heating. In this work, we suggest specific shapes of macroscopic hyperbolic metamaterial samples to open radiation windows for enhanced radiation to free space. We show that hyperbolic media slabs with properly shaped macroscopic grooves convert the evanescent waves produced by a dipole into waves traveling in free space, which results in the enhancement of useful radiation by one to two orders of magnitude. That level of enhancement of radiation into free-space which is also wideband and of non-resonant nature has not been reported up to now. These results may open possibilities for realization of broadband and directive antennas, where the primary radiators are randomly positioned fluorescent molecules or quantum dots.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)