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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: Michael Duncan
  • Vol. 12, Iss. 16 — Aug. 9, 2004
  • pp: 3673–3685

Surface plasmon-polariton mediated light emission through thin metal films

Stephen Wedge and W. L. Barnes  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 12, Issue 16, pp. 3673-3685 (2004)

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The emission of light by sources in close proximity to a thin metallic film is dominated by surface plasmon-polariton modes supported by that film. We explore the nature of the modes and examine how the energy lost to such modes can be recovered. Both cross-coupled and coupled SPPs are presented as a means of transferring energy across a thin metal film. These modes are then scattered and thereby coupled to light by a wavelength scale grating type microstructure. We show that the photoluminescence emission from a structure containing a microstructured thin metal film that supports coupled SPPs is over 50 times greater than that from a similar planar structure. Similar strong photoluminescence emission is also exhibited by a sample that contains a planar metal film coated with a microstructured dielectric overlayer.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(230.3670) Optical devices : Light-emitting diodes
(240.6680) Optics at surfaces : Surface plasmons

ToC Category:
Focus Issue: Extraordinary light transmission through sub-wavelength structured surfaces

Original Manuscript: June 10, 2004
Revised Manuscript: June 29, 2004
Published: August 9, 2004

Stephen Wedge and W. Barnes, "Surface plasmon-polariton mediated light emission through thin metal films," Opt. Express 12, 3673-3685 (2004)

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  1. L. H. Smith, J. A. E. Wasey, and W. L. Barnes, "The light out-coupling efficiency of top emitting organic light-emitting diodes," Appl. Phys. Lett. 84, 2986-2988 (2004). [CrossRef]
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  4. P. A. Hobson, S. Wedge, J. A. E. Wasey, I. Sage and W.L. Barnes, ???Surface plasmon mediated emission from organic light-emitting diodes,??? Adv. Mater. 14, 1393-1396 (2002). [CrossRef]
  5. W. L. Barnes, ???Electromagnetic crystals for surface plasmon polaritons and the extraction of light from emissive devices,??? J. Lightwave Technol. 17, 2170-2182 (1999) [CrossRef]
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  12. R. W. Gruhlke, W. R. Holland, and D. G. Hall, ???Surface-plasmon cross coupling in molecular fluorescence near a corrugated thin metal film,??? Phys. Rev. Lett. 56, 2838-2841 (1986). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  13. D. K. Gifford and D. G. Hall, ???Extraordinary transmission of organic photoluminescence through an otherwise opaque metal layer via surface plasmon cross coupling,??? Appl. Phys. Lett. 80, 3679-3681 (2002) [CrossRef]
  14. R. W. Gruhlke, W. R. Holland, and D. G. Hall, ???Optical emission from coupled surface plasmons,??? Opt. Lett. 12, 364-366 (1987) [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  15. R. M. Amos and W. L. Barnes, ???Modification of the spontaneous emission rate of Eu3+ ions close to a thin metal mirror,??? Phys. Rev. B 55, 7249-7254 (1997) [CrossRef]
  16. S. Wedge, I. R. Hooper, I. Sage and W. L. Barnes, ???Light emission through a corrugated metal film: the role of cross-coupled surface plasmon-polaritons,??? Phys. Rev. B (to be published) (2004)
  17. D. Sarid, ???Long-range surface-plasma waves on very thin metal films,??? Phys. Rev. Lett. 47, 1927-1930 (1981). [CrossRef]
  18. P. T. Worthing and W. L. Barnes, "Efficient coupling of surface plasmon-polaritons to radiation using a bigrating," Appl. Phys. Lett. 79, 3035-3037 (2001). [CrossRef]
  19. P. T. Worthing and W. L. Barnes, "Coupling efficiency of surface plasmon-polaritons to radiation using a corrugated surface angular dependence," J. Mod. Opt. 49, 1453-1462 (2002). [CrossRef]
  20. J. R. Lawrence, P. Andrew, M. Buck, W. L. Barnes, G. A. Turnbull and I. D. W. Samuel, ???Optical properties of a light-emitting polymer directly patterned by soft lithography,??? Appl. Phys. Lett. 81, 1955-1957 (2002) [CrossRef]

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