The optical response of nanostructured surfaces and the composite diffracted evanescent wave model

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Gay, G.
Alloschery, O.
Viaris de Lesegno, B.
O'Dwyer, Colm
Weiner, J.
Lezec, H. J.
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Investigations of the optical response of subwavelength-structure arrays milled into thin metal films have revealed surprising phenomena, including reports of unexpectedly high transmission of light. Many studies have interpreted the optical coupling to the surface in terms of the resonant excitation of surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs), but other approaches involving composite diffraction of surface evanescent waves (CDEW) have also been proposed. Here we present a series of measurements on very simple one-dimensional subwavelength structures to test the key properties of the surface waves, and compare them to the CDEW and SPP models. We find that the optical response of the silver metal surface proceeds in two steps: a diffractive perturbation in the immediate vicinity (2–3 mu m) of the structure, followed by excitation of a persistent surface wave that propagates over tens of micrometres. The measured wavelength and phase of this persistent wave are significantly shifted from those expected for resonance excitation of a conventional SPP on a pure silver surface.
Arrays , Optical coupling , Surface plasmon polaritons , SPPs , Surface evanescent waves , Resonance
Gay, G., Alloschery, O., de Lesegno, B. V., O'Dwyer, C., Weiner, J. and Lezec, H.J. (2006) 'The optical response of nanostructured surfaces and the composite diffracted evanescent wave model'. Nature Physics, 2(4), pp. 262-267.
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© 2006 Nature Publishing Group.