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In this paper we propose a broadband polarization-independent selective absorber for solar thermal applications. It is based on a metal-dielectric-metal metasurface structure, but with an interlayer of absorbing amorphous carbon rather than a low loss dielectric. Optical absorbance results derived from finite difference time domain modelling are shown for ultra-thin carbon layers in air and on 200 nm of gold for a range of carbon thicknesses. A gold-amorphous carbon-gold trilayer with a top layer consisting of a 1D grating is then optimised in 2D to give a sharp transition from strong absorption up to 2 μm to strong reflection above 2 μm resulting in good solar selective performance. The gold was replaced by the high-melting-point metal tungsten, which is shown to have very similar performance to the gold case. 3D simulations then show that the gold-based structure performs well as a square periodic array of squares, however there is low absorption around 400 nm. A cross-based structure is found to increase this absorption without significantly reducing the performance at longer wavelengths.
- selective absorber