OSA's Digital Library

Journal of the Optical Society of America B

Journal of the Optical Society of America B


  • Editor: G. I. Stegeman
  • Vol. 23, Iss. 3 — Mar. 1, 2006
  • pp: 571–583

Optical nanotransmission lines: synthesis of planar left-handed metamaterials in the infrared and visible regimes

Andrea Alù and Nader Engheta  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA B, Vol. 23, Issue 3, pp. 571-583 (2006)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (1094 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



Following our recent theoretical development of the concepts of nanoinductors, nanocapacitors, and nanoresistors at optical frequencies and the possibility of synthesizing more complex nanoscale circuits, we theoretically investigate in detail the problem of optical nanotransmission lines (NTLs) that can be envisioned by properly joining together arrays of these basic nanoscale circuit elements. We show how, in the limit in which these basic circuit elements are closely packed together, NTLs can be regarded as stacks of plasmonic and nonplasmonic planar slabs, which may be designed to effectively exhibit the properties of planar metamaterials with forward (right-handed) or backward (left-handed) operation. With the proper design, negative refraction and left-handed propagation are shown to be possible in these planar plasmonic guided-wave structures, providing possibilities for subwavelength focusing and imaging in planar optics and laterally confined waveguiding at IR and visible frequencies. The effective material parameters for such NTLs are derived, and the connection and analogy between these optical NTLs and the double-negative and double-positive metamaterials are also explored. Physical insights and justification for the results are also presented.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(160.3900) Materials : Metals
(160.4670) Materials : Optical materials
(240.6680) Optics at surfaces : Surface plasmons

ToC Category:

Original Manuscript: June 24, 2005
Manuscript Accepted: October 5, 2005

Andrea Alù and Nader Engheta, "Optical nanotransmission lines: synthesis of planar left-handed metamaterials in the infrared and visible regimes," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 23, 571-583 (2006)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. A. Alù and N. Engheta, "Pairing an epsilon-negative slab with a mu-negative slab: resonance, tunneling and transparency," IEEE Trans. Antennas Propag. 51, 2558-2570 (2003). [CrossRef]
  2. J. B. Pendry, "Negative refraction makes a perfect lens," Phys. Rev. Lett. 85, 3966-3969 (2000). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  3. V. G. Veselago, "The electrodynamics of substances with simultaneously negative values of epsilon and µ," Sov. Phys. Usp. 10, 509-514 (1968). [CrossRef]
  4. N. Engheta, "An idea for thin subwavelength cavity resonators using metamaterials with negative permittivity and permeability," IEEE Antennas Wireless Propag. Lett. 1, 10-13 (2002). [CrossRef]
  5. A. Alù and N. Engheta, "Guided modes in a waveguide filled with a pair of single-negative (SNG), double-negative (DNG), and/or double-positive (DPS) layers," IEEE Trans. Microwave Theory Tech. 52, 199-210 (2004). [CrossRef]
  6. A. Alù and N. Engheta, "An overview of salient properties of planar guided-wave structures with double-negative (DNG) and single-negative (SNG) layers," in Negative Refraction Metamaterials: Fundamental Properties and Applications, G.V.Eleftheriades, and K.G.Balmain, eds. (IEEE; Wiley, 2005), pp. 339-380. [CrossRef]
  7. A. Alù and N. Engheta, "Polarizabilities and effective parameters for collections of spherical nanoparticles formed by pairs of concentric double-negative, single-negative, and/or double-positive metamaterial layers," J. Appl. Phys. 97, 094310 (2005). [CrossRef]
  8. A. Alù and N. Engheta, "Can negative-parameter metamaterials provide high directivity for small apertures and antennas?" in Presented at the USNC/CNC/URSI National Radio Science Meeting, Washington, D.C., July 3-8, 2005.
  9. R. A. Shelby, D. R. Smith, and S. Schultz, "Experimental verification of a negative index of refraction," Science 292, 77-79 (2001). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  10. L. Landau and E. M. Lifschitz, Electrodynamics of Continuous Media (Elsevier, 1984).
  11. V. A. Podolskiy, A. K. Sarychev, and V. M. Shalaev, "Plasmon modes in metal nanowires and left-handed materials," J. Nonlinear Opt. Phys. Mater. 11, 65-74 (2002). [CrossRef]
  12. S. O'Brien, D. McPeake, S. A. Ramakrishna, and J. B. Pendry, "Near-infrared photonic bandgaps and nonlinear effects in negative magnetic metamaterials," Phys. Rev. B 69, 241101 (2004). [CrossRef]
  13. G. Shvets and Y. A. Urzhumov, "Engineering electromagnetic properties of periodic nanostructures using electrostatic resonances," Phys. Rev. Lett. 93, 243902 (2004). [CrossRef]
  14. M. L. Povinelli, S. G. Johnson, J. D. Joannopoulos, and J. B. Pendry, "Toward photonic-crystal metamaterials: creating magnetic emitters in photonic crystals," Appl. Phys. Lett. 82, 1069-1071 (2003). [CrossRef]
  15. G. Shvets, "Photonic approach to making a material with a negative index of refraction," Phys. Rev. B 67, 035109 (2003). [CrossRef]
  16. A. Alù, A. Salandrino, and N. Engheta, "Negative effective permeability and left-handed materials at optical frequencies," online at http://arxiv.org/pdf/cond-mat/0412263.
  17. A. Alù and N. Engheta, "Anomalies in the surface wave propagation along double-negative and single-negative cylindrical shells," presented at the 2004 Progress in Electromagnetics Research Symposium (PIERS'04), Pisa, Italy, March 28-31, 2004, CD Digest.
  18. J. Takahara, S. Yamagishi, H. Taki, A. Morimoto, and T. Kobayashi, "Guiding of a one-dimensional optical beam with nanometer diameter," Opt. Lett. 22, 475-477 (1997). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  19. N. Engheta, A. Salandrino, and A. Alù, "Circuit elements at optical frequencies: nanoinductors, nanocapacitors and nanoresistors," Phys. Rev. Lett. 95, 095504 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  20. A. Alù and N. Engheta, "Sub-wavelength focusing and negative refraction along positive-index and negative-index plasmonic nano-transmission lines and nano-layers," in Proceedings of the 2005 IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society International Symposium, (IEEE, 2005), Vol. 1A, pp. 35-38.
  21. G. V. Eleftheriades, A. K. Iyer, and P. C. Kremer, "Planar negative refractive index media using periodically L-C loaded transmission lines," IEEE Trans. Microwave Theory Tech. 50, 2702-2712 (2002). [CrossRef]
  22. L. Liu, C. Caloz, C.-C. Chang, and T. Itoh, "Forward coupling phenomena between artificial left-handed transmission lines," J. Appl. Phys. 92, 5560-5565 (2002). [CrossRef]
  23. A. Alù and N. Engheta, "Mode excitation by a line source in a parallel-plate waveguide filled with a pair of parallel double-negative and double-positive slabs," in Proceedings of 2003 IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society International Symposium (IEEE, 2003), Vol. 3, pp. 359-362.
  24. Note that the current distribution in a TL as in Figs. would indeed excite a magnetic field distribution with even distribution with respect to the transverse coordinate, thereby justifying the use of the even mode in the ENG-DPS-ENG waveguide (for RH behavior) and in the DPS-ENG-DPS waveguide (for LH behavior)
  25. I. El-Kady, M. M. Sigalas, R. Biswas, K. M. Ho, and C. M. Soukoulis, "Metallic photonic crystals at optical wavelengths," Phys. Rev. B 62, 15299-15302 (2000). [CrossRef]
  26. M. Quinten, A. Leitner, J. R. Krenn, and F. R. Aussenegg, "Electromagnetic energy transport via linear chains of silver nanoparticles," Opt. Lett. 23, 1331-1333 (1998). [CrossRef]
  27. S. A. Tretyakov and A. J. Vitanen, "Line of periodically arranged passive dipole scatters," Electr. Eng. 82, 353-361 (2000). [CrossRef]
  28. S. A. Maier, M. L. Brongersma, and H. A. Atwater, "Electromagnetic energy transport along arrays of closely spaced metal rods as an analogue to plasmonic devices," Appl. Phys. Lett. 78, 16-18 (2001). [CrossRef]
  29. A. D. Yaghjian, "Scattering-matrix analysis of linear periodic arrays," IEEE Trans. Antennas Propag. 50, 1050-1064 (2002). [CrossRef]
  30. R. Shore and A. D. Yaghjian, "Traveling electromagnetic waves on linear metallic nanosphere arrays," presented at the 11th International Symposium on Antenna Technology and Applied Electromagnetics (ANTEM'05), Saint-Malò, France, June 15-17 2005.
  31. N. Engheta, A. Alù, A. Salandrino, and N. Blyzniuk, "Circuit element representation of optical energy transport along a chain of plasmonic nanoparticles," in Digest of the 2004 OSA Annual Meeting (Optical Society of America, 2004), p. FWH47.
  32. A. W. Lohmann, A. Peer, D. Wang, and A. Frisesem, "Flatland optics: fundamentals," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 17, 1755-1762 (2000). [CrossRef]

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

« Previous Article

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited