We use a transfer-matrix methodology to simulate the rectification of infrared and optical radiation by geometrically asymmetric metal-vacuum-metal junctions in which one of the metals is flat while the other is extended by a tip. We determine in particular the power this junction could provide to an external load and the efficiency with which the energy of incident radiations is converted. We consider first situations in which the external radiation is monochromatic, with typical frequencies in the infrared and optical domains. We then consider situations in which the external radiation consists of a full range of frequencies, with amplitudes that are representative of a focused beam of solar radiation. We investigate in particular how the efficiency of the rectification is affected by the aspect ratio of the tip, the work function of the metallic elements and the occurrence of polarization resonances. Our results demonstrate that the rectification of infrared and optical radiation is possible using devices of the type considered in this work. They finally provide a quantitative analysis of the efficiency of this rectification.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering