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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 17, Iss. 14 — Jul. 6, 2009
  • pp: 12189–12196

Colored images generated by metallic sub-wavelength gratings

Hans Lochbihler  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 17, Issue 14, pp. 12189-12196 (2009)

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Gratings with periods smaller than visible wavelengths in ambient white light will exhibit enhanced colors if the profile is designed so that resonant light interaction occurs in the visible range. Resonances have a frequency-selective influence to the grating diffraction inducing colors in transmittance and reflectance, respectively. Apart from the well-known surface-plasmon polariton excitations and cavity resonances, newly discovered resonances in TE-polarization can be exploited for colorizing wire-gratings, when simply illuminated by unpolarized white light. Colors can be laterally tuned by varying the grating profile. The capability of generating images by sub-wavelength gratings is exemplified by a metallic wire grating embedded in a plastic foil with a lateral variable modulation depth. This method for producing colored images is predestined for industrial mass production and will have ever more practical applications such as for security features.

© 2009 OSA

OCIS Codes
(260.5740) Physical optics : Resonance
(050.6624) Diffraction and gratings : Subwavelength structures

ToC Category:
Diffraction and Gratings

Original Manuscript: May 20, 2009
Revised Manuscript: June 7, 2009
Manuscript Accepted: June 9, 2009
Published: July 2, 2009

Hans Lochbihler, "Colored images generated by metallic sub-wavelength gratings," Opt. Express 17, 12189-12196 (2009)

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