The optical transmission through a subwavelength aperture in a metal film is strongly enhanced when the incident light is resonant with surface plasmons at the corrugated metal surface surrounding the aperture. Conversely, the aperture acts as a novel probe of the surface plasmons, yielding useful insights for optimizing the transmission enhancement. For the optimal corrugation geometry, a set of concentric circular grooves, three times more light is transmitted through the central subwavelength aperture than directly impinges upon it. This effect is useful in the fabrication of near-field optical devices with extremely high optical throughput.
© 2001 Optical Society of America
(180.5810) Microscopy : Scanning microscopy
(210.0210) Optical data storage : Optical data storage
(230.3990) Optical devices : Micro-optical devices
(240.6680) Optics at surfaces : Surface plasmons
Tineke Thio, K. M. Pellerin, R. A. Linke, H. J. Lezec, and T. W. Ebbesen, "Enhanced light transmission through a single subwavelength aperture," Opt. Lett. 26, 1972-1974 (2001)