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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 15, Iss. 3 — Feb. 5, 2007
  • pp: 1107–1114
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Extraordinary transmission and left-handed propagation in miniaturized stacks of doubly periodic subwavelength hole arrays

Miguel Beruete, Mario Sorolla, Miguel Navarro-Cía, Francisco Falcone, Igor Campillo, and Vitaliy Lomakin  »View Author Affiliations


Optics Express, Vol. 15, Issue 3, pp. 1107-1114 (2007)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.15.001107


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Abstract

Metallic plates embedded between dielectric slabs and perforated by rectangular arrays of subwavelength holes with a dense periodicity in one of the directions support extraordinary transmission (ET) phenomena, viz. strong peaks in the transmittance frequency dependence. Stacks of such perforated plates support ET phenomena with propagation along the stack axis that is characterized by the left handed behavior. The incorporation of the dielectric materials and dense periodicity allows significantly reducing the illuminated area of the perforated plate required experimentally to observe the ET phenomena as compared to the areas required in the case of free standing rectangular hole arrays. This facilitates the experimental investigation of ET under excitation in the Fresnel zone of aussian beams.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

1. Introduction

Recently, there has been an increased interest among physical and engineering communities into the investigation of extraordinary wave phenomena supported by metamaterials and photonic crystal (PhC) structures. Veselago’s seminal paper [1

1. V.G. Veselago, “The Electrodynamics of Substances with Simultaneously Negative Values of ε and μ,” Soviet Physics Uspekhi 10,509–514, (1968). [CrossRef]

] predicted that electromagnetic waves propagating along media with simultaneously both dielectric permittivity and magnetic permeability have negative antiparallel phase and group velocities. Consequently, the electric, magnetic and wave vectors in these media form a left-handed triplet in contrast with the right-handed triplet of standard media. This is accompanied by the fact that such media have a negative index of refraction. Therefore, the media are referred to as left handed or negative index metamaterials (NIM).

NIMs can act as perfect lenses focusing to subwavelength spatial spots [2

2. J. B. Pendry, Negative Refraction Makes a Perfect Lens, Phys. Rev. Lett 85,3966–3969, (2000). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

] and can be constructed by using conventional materials and techniques [3–5

3. D. R. Smith, W. J. Padilla, D. C. Vier, S. C. Nemat-Nasser, and S. Schultz, “Composite Medium with Simultaneously Negative Permeability and Permittivity,” Phys. Rev. Lett 84,4184–4187, (2000). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

,6

6. F. Falcone, T. Lopetegi, M. A. G. Laso, J. D. Baena, J. Bonache, M. Beruete, R. Marqués, F. Martín, and M. Sorolla, “Babinet principle applied to metasurface and metamaterial design,” Phys. Rev. Lett 93,197401-1-4, (2004). [CrossRef]

]. It should be noted that NIMs are not the only means to achieve a left-handed propagation (LHP) behavior and subwavelength focusing. Notomi described negative refraction in Photonic Crystals [7

7. Masaya Notomi, “Negative refraction in photonic crystals,” Opt. Quantum Electron 34,133–143, (2002). [CrossRef]

], which are made fundamentally of dielectrics and do not suffer from the inherent losses associated with the use of metal resonators to construct NIMs [8–9

8. Chiyan Luo, Steven G. Johnson, J. D. Joannopoulos, and J. B. Pendry, “Subwavelength imaging in photonic crystals,” Phys. Rev. B 68,045115-1-15 (2003). [CrossRef]

]. These features connect PhCs to the phenomena of negative refraction and subwavelength focusing [7–9

7. Masaya Notomi, “Negative refraction in photonic crystals,” Opt. Quantum Electron 34,133–143, (2002). [CrossRef]

]. One difference compared to NIMs is that periodicities of PhC structures are of order of the wavelength of operation [3–5

3. D. R. Smith, W. J. Padilla, D. C. Vier, S. C. Nemat-Nasser, and S. Schultz, “Composite Medium with Simultaneously Negative Permeability and Permittivity,” Phys. Rev. Lett 84,4184–4187, (2000). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]..

Very recently, microwave LHP in a PhC that operated in far field (Fraunhofer zone) of radiating and receiving antennas was experimentally demonstrated. The PhC comprised a stack of metal plates perforated by arrays of subwavelength holes that operated in the regime of extraordinary transmission (ET) [10

10. M. Beruete, M. Sorolla, and I. Campillo,“Left-Handed Extraordinary Optical Transmission through Photonic Crystal Subwavelength Hole Arrays,” Opt. Express 14,5445–5455, (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. In this work, connections between ET [11

11. T.W. Ebbesen, H. J. Lezec, H. Ghaemi, T. Thio, and P. A. Wolf, “Extraordinary optical transmission through sub-wavelength hole arrays,” Nature 391,667–669, (1998). [CrossRef]

], Photonic Bandgap (PBG) materials [12

12. E. Yablonovitch, “Inhibited Spontaneous Emission in Solid-State Physics and Electronics,” Phys. Rev. Lett 58,2059–2062, (1987). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

,13

13. S. John, “Strong localization of photons in certain disordered dielectric superlattices,” Phys. Rev. Lett 58,2486–2489, (1987). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

] and left-handed metamaterials [1

1. V.G. Veselago, “The Electrodynamics of Substances with Simultaneously Negative Values of ε and μ,” Soviet Physics Uspekhi 10,509–514, (1968). [CrossRef]

] were demonstrated. The physics behind the operation of the structure can be interpreted by means of an electrical engineering based equivalent circuit approach as an inverse transmission line [10

10. M. Beruete, M. Sorolla, and I. Campillo,“Left-Handed Extraordinary Optical Transmission through Photonic Crystal Subwavelength Hole Arrays,” Opt. Express 14,5445–5455, (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

] or by means of equivalent artificial waveguide model [16

16. M. Beruete, I. Campillo, M. Navarro, F. Falcone, and M. Sorolla, “Molding Left- or Right-Handed Metamaterials by Stacked Cut-Off Metallic Hole Arrays,” accepted in the IEEE Trans. Antennas Propag., Special Issue in honor of Prof. L. B. Felsen, (2007).

]. It also was observed that by simply adjusting the longitudinal period, i.e. the distance between the hole perforated plates in the stack, a rich variety of propagation regimes can be obtained ranging from conventional right-handed propagation to LHP [10

10. M. Beruete, M. Sorolla, and I. Campillo,“Left-Handed Extraordinary Optical Transmission through Photonic Crystal Subwavelength Hole Arrays,” Opt. Express 14,5445–5455, (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

,16

16. M. Beruete, I. Campillo, M. Navarro, F. Falcone, and M. Sorolla, “Molding Left- or Right-Handed Metamaterials by Stacked Cut-Off Metallic Hole Arrays,” accepted in the IEEE Trans. Antennas Propag., Special Issue in honor of Prof. L. B. Felsen, (2007).

,17

17. M. Beruete, M. Sorolla, and I. Campillo, “Inhibiting Negative Index of Refraction by a Band Gap of Stacked Cut-off Metallic Hole Arrays,” IEEE Microwave Wirel. Compon. Lett 17,16–18, (2007). [CrossRef]

] opening also the possibility of a zero-group velocity band [16

16. M. Beruete, I. Campillo, M. Navarro, F. Falcone, and M. Sorolla, “Molding Left- or Right-Handed Metamaterials by Stacked Cut-Off Metallic Hole Arrays,” accepted in the IEEE Trans. Antennas Propag., Special Issue in honor of Prof. L. B. Felsen, (2007).

]. Other recent analytical papers confirming these results can also be found [18

18. Zhichao Ruan and Min Qiu, “Negative refraction and sub-wavelength imaging through surface waves on structured perfect conductor surfaces,” Opt. Express 14,6172–6177, (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

,19

19. Shuang Zhang, Wenjun Fan, N. C. Panoiu, K. J. Malloy, R. M. Osgood, and S. R. J. Brueck, “Optical negative-index bulk metamaterials consisting of 2D perforated metal-dielectric stacks,” Opt. Express 14,6778–6787, (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

].

This paper extends and significantly improves the previously introduced ideas [10

10. M. Beruete, M. Sorolla, and I. Campillo,“Left-Handed Extraordinary Optical Transmission through Photonic Crystal Subwavelength Hole Arrays,” Opt. Express 14,5445–5455, (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

] for achieving left-handed propagation by considering a stack of metallic plates perforated by doubly periodic rectangular arrays of subwavelength holes that are sandwiched between dielectric slabs. It is experimentally shown that this structure shows a better performance with higher flexibility in tuning the structure’s parameters than free standing square hole array structures [10

10. M. Beruete, M. Sorolla, and I. Campillo,“Left-Handed Extraordinary Optical Transmission through Photonic Crystal Subwavelength Hole Arrays,” Opt. Express 14,5445–5455, (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. It is shown that the introduced structure supports left- and right-handed propagation with nearly total transmission. The role and impact of the dielectric slabs and rectangular periodicity are analysed. Important insights are given based on simulations and theoretical comparisons.

2. Rectangular doubly-periodic and dielectric loaded subwavelength hole arrays

The analysis of ET phenomena is described in [20–24

20. L. Martín-Moreno, F. J. García-Vidal, H. J. Lezec, K. M. Pellerin, T. Thio, J. B. Pendry, and T.W. Ebbesen, “Theory of Extraordinary Optical Transmission through Subwavelength Hole Arrays,” Phys. Rev. Lett 86,1114–1117, (2001). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

,30

30. V. Lomakin, N.W. Chen, S. Q. Li, and E. Michielssen, “Enhanced transmission through two-period arrays of sub-wavelength holes,” IEEE Microwave Wirel. Compon. Lett 14,355–357, (2004) [CrossRef]

] from the point of view of surface and leaky wave concepts and diffraction methods. It is now well-established that ET phenomena are associated with the existence of surface waves supported by perforated metal plates and diffraction modes generated by periodic arrays of holes. In the optical regime, the surface waves are surface plasmon polaritons, viz. waves supported by plasma surfaces. In the microwave and terahertz regimes the surface waves are supported due to the hole interactions even when the metals behave as perfect conductors [23

23. Vitaliy Lomakin and Eric Michielssen, “Enhanced transmission through metallic plates perforated by arrays of subwavelength holes and sandwiched between dielectric slabs,” Phys. Rev. B 71,235117-1-10 (2005). [CrossRef]

].

Fig. 1. Photographs of the prototypes. (a) Rectangular periodicity subwavelength hole array with parameters dx = 1.5 mm, dy = 4 mm, hole diameter a = 1.2 mm, metallization thickness (copper) t = 35 microns, dielectric thickness h = 0.49 mm and dielectric permittivity ε = 2.43. Squared periodicity subwavelength hole array with hole diameter a = 2 mm (b) and a = 2.5 mm (c), the rest of parameters being: dx = dy = 5 mm, metal thickness (aluminum) t = 0.5 mm. (d) Schematic of the stacked hole array with parameters dy = 3.4 mm, dz = 0.525 mm and the rest as in (a).

The illumination area and the number of required holes can be reduced significantly by introducing two modifications to the configurations presented in [25–27

25. M. Beruete, M. Sorolla, I. Campillo, J.S. Dolado, L. Martín-Moreno, J. Bravo-Abad, and F. J. Garcia-Vidal, “Enhanced Millimeter Wave Transmission Through Quasioptical Subwavelength Perforated Plates,” IEEE Trans. Antennas Propag 53,1897–1903, (2005). [CrossRef]

]. First, the perforated plates are embedded in a dielectric material. Indeed, it can be shown that a perforated plate embedded between two dielectric slabs supports leaky waves that have propagation length much shorter than the one in the case of free standing perforated plates. The short propagation length means stronger coupling between the incident fields and the leaky waves and results in a much smaller area (and the number of holes) required to achieve prominent ET phenomena. In addition, the incorporation of dielectric slabs allows for more flexibility in tuning the structure’s scattering properties. The second modification allowing reducing the area of illumination for experimentally observable ET phenomena, is to consider rectangular hole arrays where one of the periodicities is significantly smaller than the other (e.g. dx < dy in Fig. 1(a)). This modification, by increasing the number of holes per unit area, further decreases the propagation length of the leaky wave and the area of illumination required for the transmittance enhancement. In addition, this modification allows for applications requiring transmittance polarization selectivity as only one (larger periodicity) components will lead to ET phenomena (assuming only lower frequency transmission bands).

For instance, Fig. 2(a) represents the simulated response of two identical infinite rectangular subwavelength hole arrays (see the caption to Fig. 1(a)): cyan curve, sandwiched between two dielectric slabs of thickness h = 0.49 mm and relative dielectric permittivity εr = 2.43, and blue curve, the same metallic hole array in air. Clearly, when the hole array is inserted between a dielectric sandwich, the ET peak is shifted to lower frequencies, in the present case from 73 GHz to 60 GHz. The peaks also broaden. For completeness, Fig. 2(a) also shows the simulated transmittance of infinite square hole arrays embedded in air with the dimensions of Fig. 1(b) (green curve) and Fig. 1(c) (magenta curve). Notice that the simulation results are for infinite hole arrays under plane wave excitation and therefore, total transmission is achieved for the infinite structure. This is fundamentally different from the real finite structure experiment, where the transmittance has reduced values.

Fig. 2. (a) Simulated transmission coefficient magnitude comparing two rectangular periodicity infinite hole arrays with parameters as in Fig. 1(a), one immersed in air (blue curve) and the other one sandwiched between two dielectric slabs of thickness h = 0.49 mm and relative dielectric permittivity εr = 2.43 (cyan curve). Green and magenta curves correspond to square periodicity infinite hole arrays embedded in air shown in Fig. 1(b) and (c) respectively. (b) Measured transmission coefficient magnitude for single plate subwavelength hole arrays prototypes. Solid cyan curve corresponds to the parallel polarization excitation (copolar) of the rectangular periodicity hole array shown in Fig. 1(a) and sandwiched between two identical dielectric slabs of thickness h = 0.49 mm and dielectric permittivity εr = 2.43. Dashed cyan curve is for the orthogonal polarization (crosspolar). Green and magenta curves correspond to square periodicity hole arrays embedded in air shown in Fig. 1(b) and (c) respectively.

A rectangular double periodic hole array was drilled by a numerical milling machine on a metallic layer of a commercial microwave substrate with the following parameters: dielectric thickness h = 0.49 mm and dielectric permittivity εr = 2.43. The remaining parameters were (see also Fig. 1(a)): periodicities dx = 1.5 mm, dy = 4 mm, hole diameter a = 1.2 mm, metallization thickness (copper) t = 35 μm and circular wafer diameter Ø = 62.4 mm. The fractional area of the hole, defined as the ratio of hole to unit cell area, was approximately F = 0.2. For comparison purposes, two square hole arrays made in aluminum prototypes also were built with hole diameter a = 2 mm and 2.5 mm, periodicity dx = dy = 5 mm, and metal thickness t = 0.5 mm (see Fig. 1(b) and (c)). The corresponding fractional hole areas were F = 0.12 and 0.2 for a = 2 mm and 2.5 mm, respectively.

Fig. 3. Experimental quasi-optical bench set-up (QO bench). The transmitting and receiving corrugated horn antennas, the focusing mirrors and the sample positioning system are displayed. The propagating Gaussian beam contour is highlighted in blue.

The solid cyan curve in Fig. 2(b) shows the measurement of the rectangular hole array prototype, Fig. 1(a), sandwiched between identical dielectric slabs. A clear resonance ET peak with a level of −2.45 dB, arises at 60 GHz. In the orthogonal polarization (dashed cyan curve), no resonance is observed (as expected) and the level at 60 GHz is −11.6 dB. Note that the simulation results of Fig. 2(a) predict total transmission at the ET resonance. A possible cause of the lower level in the measurement is due to dielectric losses, which were not considered in the simulation. For a rough estimation, a single dielectric slab was also measured (dash-dot gray line in Fig. 2(b)). The measurement shows an attenuation of 0.9 dB in the passband. As the sandwich had two twin dielectric slabs, the total losses due to dielectrics are (roughly) 1.8 dB. Therefore, the attenuation due to the perforated plate can be estimated as 0.66 dB. Notice that the measurements are taken by using the Fresnel-zone illumination set-up and that, accordingly, the actual illuminated area had a diameter approximately equal to the gaussian beamwaist, i.e. 27.9 mm, and still the measured transmission is quite high. The effective number of illuminated holes is 19×8, which corresponds to an area (normalized to the ET wavelength) S2 = 24.45.

Therefore, the measurements confirm that the metal plates embedded in a dielectric material and perforated by rectangular hole arrays with a dense periodicity in one of the directions are more efficient for the experimental verification of ET than free standing square hole arrays. Hence, ET phenomena can be observed under Fresnel zone illumination. As the array density in the horizontal dimension increases, the transmitted power level increases as well.

3. LHP through a stack of rectangular hole arrays

A bulk PhC is constructed by periodically stacking the rectangular hole arrays (Fig. 1(d)). In the following numerical and experimental results, the stack period, which is the sum of the thickness of the dielectric and conductor layers dz = h + t, was chosen as 0.525 mm. The vertical periodicity of the hole array was slightly modified to dy = 3.4 mm for reasons explained below. All other parameters were unchanged.

Fig. 4. (a) Dispersion diagram particularized to the first band of the stacked hole array separated by air slabs (blue) and by εr = 2.43 dielectric slabs (green). (b) Experimental transmission coefficient magnitude of stacked hole arrays. Solid lines correspond to copolar excitation of the rectangular periodic hole array on the dielectric slab structure, i.e. E-field in the direction of the large periodicity and dashed lines to the orthogonal polarization. (c) and (d) Phase response in and out of the LHM band respectively. In (b), (c) and (d) black is for two plates, red for three plates and blue for four plates

Figure 4 shows numerical and experimental results characterizing the field scattering from the stacked structure. Figure 4(a) plots a computed dispersion diagram of the double periodicity structure separated with air and with a dielectric of relative permittivity εr = 2.43. By using the eigenmode solver of CST Microwave StudioTM, when the structure is embedded in air, the first band appears between 75 and 87 GHz (blue curve), whereas the first band shifts to the range between 48.4 and 56 GHz (green curve) when the structure is embedded in dielectric. The frequency shift for the stacked hole arrays embedded in dielectric as compared to the freestanding stacked arrays (see Ref. 10) is consistent with the shift in a single hole array sandwiched between dielectric slabs.

Figure 4(b) shows the experimental results for the frequency dependence of the transmittance of the stacked rectangular hole arrays embedded in a dielectric material. The transmittance was measured using the previously described Quasi-Optical (QO) bench, in the range from 45 to 110 GHz (V- and W-bands). The solid cyan curve represents the response of a single perforated plate sandwiched between dielectric slabs. Note that the resonance is shifted to 70 GHz as compared to the one in Fig. 2 due to the shorter chosen periodicity dy. For two stacked plates (solid black curve) a clear ET peak is detected at 60 GHz. As the number of layers is increased, the peak level decreases, likely due to losses and slight misalignments between consecutive layers. However, the resonance frequency remains locked at 60 GHz, below the resonance of a single perforated plate, regardless the number of plates in the stack. The frequency shift is due to the coupling between the perforated plates in the stack. This coupling leads to the fact that the electric field lines are trapped in the dielectric and contribute to a self-capacitance of the single perforated plate and mutual capacitance of adjacent plates [10

10. M. Beruete, M. Sorolla, and I. Campillo,“Left-Handed Extraordinary Optical Transmission through Photonic Crystal Subwavelength Hole Arrays,” Opt. Express 14,5445–5455, (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. This shift also partially explains the decrease in the transmittance by the fact that the hole diameter / wavelength ratio decreased as well (see e.g. discussions in [25

25. M. Beruete, M. Sorolla, I. Campillo, J.S. Dolado, L. Martín-Moreno, J. Bravo-Abad, and F. J. Garcia-Vidal, “Enhanced Millimeter Wave Transmission Through Quasioptical Subwavelength Perforated Plates,” IEEE Trans. Antennas Propag 53,1897–1903, (2005). [CrossRef]

]).

4. Conclusions

Introducing rectangular double periodicity and a dielectric sandwich in sub-wavelength hole arrays allows obtaining ET transmission phenomena for perforated metal plates of significantly reduced size. It allows nearly total transmission of collimated Gaussian beam when the perforated plate sample is in the Fresnel rather than Fraunhofer zone. This represents an important achievement for the experimental study of enhanced transmission phenomena in the microwave regime.

A novel route for the fabrication of structures allowing controlled right and left handed propagation (transmission) was proposed. This was achieved by means of stacked plates perforated by rectangular arrays of holes and embedded in a dielectric material. The structure allows for a great flexibility in tuning the propagation properties. For instance, the tuning the left right to right handed propagation and vice versa can be achieved by modifying the transversal periodicities, longitudinal periodicities, as well as the dielectric permittivity of the embedding material. The latter option may be attractive as the permittivity of the dielectric can be controlled by incorporating electro-optic materials without modifies the structure dimensions.

Scaling these results to other frequency ranges (e.g. terahertz regime) is now under consideration. Further experiments and theoretical analysis to allow characterization of the introduced structure are under development as well.

Acknowledgments

This work has been supported by the Spanish Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia and E.U. Feder funding through the UNPN00-33-008, TEC2005-06923-C03-01 and TEC2005-06923-C03-02 projects.

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ToC Category:
Metamaterials

History
Original Manuscript: November 15, 2006
Revised Manuscript: January 17, 2007
Manuscript Accepted: January 18, 2007
Published: February 5, 2007

Citation
Miguel Beruete, Mario Sorolla, Miguel Navarro-Cía, Francisco Falcone, Igor Campillo, and Vitaliy Lomakin, "Extraordinary transmission and left-handed propagation in miniaturized stacks of doubly periodic subwavelength hole arrays," Opt. Express 15, 1107-1114 (2007)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-15-3-1107


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