OSA's Digital Library

Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics


  • Editor: Gregory W. Faris
  • Vol. 4, Iss. 5 — May. 5, 2009

Extraordinary optical absorption through subwavelength slits

Justin S. White, Georgios Veronis, Zongfu Yu, Edward S. Barnard, Anu Chandran, Shanhui Fan, and Mark L. Brongersma  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Letters, Vol. 34, Issue 5, pp. 686-688 (2009)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (275 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



We report on the ability of resonant plasmonic slits to efficiently concentrate electromagnetic energy into a nanoscale volume of absorbing material placed inside or directly behind the slit. This gives rise to extraordinary optical absorption characterized by an absorption enhancement factor that well exceeds the enhancements seen for extraordinary optical transmission through slits. A semianalytic Fabry–Perot model for the resonant absorption is developed and shown to quantitatively agree with full-field simulations. We show that absorption enhancements of nearly 1000% can be realized at 633 nm for slits in aluminum films filled with silicon. This effect can be utilized in a wide range of applications, including high-speed photodetectors, optical lithography and recording, and biosensors.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(240.6680) Optics at surfaces : Surface plasmons
(260.3910) Physical optics : Metal optics
(260.5740) Physical optics : Resonance

ToC Category:
Physical Optics

Original Manuscript: December 5, 2008
Revised Manuscript: January 23, 2009
Manuscript Accepted: January 26, 2009
Published: February 27, 2009

Virtual Issues
Vol. 4, Iss. 5 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Justin S. White, Georgios Veronis, Zongfu Yu, Edward S. Barnard, Anu Chandran, Shanhui Fan, and Mark L. Brongersma, "Extraordinary optical absorption through subwavelength slits," Opt. Lett. 34, 686-688 (2009)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. T. W. Ebbesen, H. J. Lezec, H. F. Ghaemi, T. Thio, and P. A. Wolff, Nature 391, 667 (1998). [CrossRef]
  2. F. J. Garca de Abajo, Rev. Mod. Phys. 79, 1267 (2007). [CrossRef]
  3. E. Laux, C. Genet, T. Skauli, and T. W. Ebbesen, Nat. Photonics 2, 161 (2008). [CrossRef]
  4. L. Verslegers, P. B. Catrysse, Z. Yu, J. S. White, E. Barnard, M. L. Brongersma, and S. Fan, Nano Lett. 9, 235 (2009). [CrossRef]
  5. C. Genet and T. W. Ebbesen, Nature 445, 39 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  6. E. Betzig and J. K. Trautman, Science 257, 189194 (1992). [CrossRef]
  7. M. J. Levene, J. Korlach, S. W. Turner, M. Foquet, H. G. Craighead, and W. W. Webb, Science 299, 682686 (2003). [CrossRef]
  8. X. Shi and L. Hesselink, Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. Part 1 41, 1632 (2002). [CrossRef]
  9. L. Wang and X. Xu, J. Microsc. 229, 483 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  10. R. E. Rottmayer, S. Batra, D. Buechel, W. A. Challener, J. Hohlfeld, Y. Kubota, L. Li, B. Lu, C. Mihalcea, K. Mountfield, K. Pelhos, C. Peng, T. Rausch, M. A. Seigler, D. Weller, and X. Yang, IEEE Trans. Magn. 42, 2417 (2006). [CrossRef]
  11. L. Cao, D. N. Barsic, A. R. Guichard, and M. L. Brongersma, Nano Lett. 7, 3523 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  12. T. Ishi, J. Fujikata, K. Makita, T. Babs, and K. Ohashi, Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. Part 2 44, L364 (2005). [CrossRef]
  13. Z. Yu, G. Veronis, S. Fan, and M. L. Brongersma, Appl. Phys. Lett. 89, 151116 (2006). [CrossRef]
  14. L. Tang, D. A. B. Miller, A. K. Okyay, J. A. Matteo, Y. Yuen, K. C. Saraswat, and L. Hesselink, Opt. Lett. 31, 1519 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  15. Y. C. Jun, R. D. Kekatpure, J. S. White, and M. L. Brongersma, Phys. Rev. B 78, 153111 (2008). [CrossRef]
  16. G. Veronis and S. Fan, in Surface Plasmon Nanophotonics, M.L.Brongersma and P.G.Kik, eds. (Springer, 2007), Vol. 131, p. 169. [CrossRef]
  17. R. Zia, M. D. Selkr, P. B. Catrysse, and M. L. Brongersma, J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 21, 2442 (2004). [CrossRef]
  18. L. Martin-Moreno, F. J. Garcia-Vidal, H. J. Lezec, K. M. Pellerin, T. Thio, J. B. Pendry, and T. W. Ebbesen, Phys. Rev. Lett. 86, 1114 (2001). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  19. R. Gordon, Phys. Rev. B 73, 153405 (2006). [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.


Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3
Fig. 4

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited