Extraordinary optical transmission through sub-wavelength hole arrays

  title={Extraordinary optical transmission through sub-wavelength hole arrays},
  author={Thomas W. Ebbesen and Henri J. Lezec and H. F. Ghaemi and Tineke Thio and Peter A. Wolff},
The desire to use and control photons in a manner analogous to the control of electrons in solids has inspired great interest in such topics as the localization of light, microcavity quantum electrodynamics and near-field optics. A fundamental constraint in manipulating light is the extremely low transmittivity of apertures smaller than the wavelength of the incident photon. While exploring the optical properties of submicrometre cylindrical cavities in metallic films, we have found that arrays… 

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Microscopic theory of the extraordinary optical transmission

A microscopic theory of the transmission through subwavelength hole arrays is derived, by considering the elementary processes associated with scattering of surface-plasmon-polariton (SPP) modes by individual one-dimensional chains of subwa wavelength holes, and derives analytical expressions for all the transmission spectrum characteristics.


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The results support a hypothesis of both enhanced transmission due to surface plasmons and a non-diffracting beaming as a function of distance effect in the propagation of the light from the array.

Effect of the subwavelength hole symmetry on the enhanced optical transmission through metallic films

We present here the measurements on the extraordinary optical transmission when light passes through different subwavelength hole arrays fabricated on a 120-nm-thick gold film by the focused ion beam

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A new phenomenon whereby molecules can induce transparency in optically thick metal films perforated with subwavelength holes is found, showing that the molecular material must be within the dipole coupling distance from the metal surface, and that the mechanism involves surface plasmons but is independent of the arrangement of the holes.



Near-Field Optics: Microscopy, Spectroscopy, and Surface Modification Beyond the Diffraction Limit

The near-field optical interaction between a sharp probe and a sample of interest can be exploited to image, spectroscopically probe, or modify surfaces at a resolution inaccessible by traditional far-field techniques, resulting in a technique of considerable versatility.

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  • Lochbihler
  • Physics
    Physical review. B, Condensed matter
  • 1994
Measurements of the zeroth-order transmittance have been performed on gold gratings with periods of 1 and 2 micrometers in the near-infrared region which are in agreement with theoretical results.

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