Abstract

Polarization characteristics of microarrays of silver nanowires embedded in an anodic alumina membrane are theoretically investigated. The microarrays mainly transmit the p-polarized wave, whereas they strongly attenuate the s-polarized wave in the near- and mid-infrared spectral range. We show that the sizes (e.g., diameter, spacing, and ratio of diameter to spacing) of the nanowires strongly affect the optical losses for the polarized waves. It is predicted that large extinction ratios and small insertion losses can be simultaneously achieved by an appropriate choice of the ratio and the diameter. An optimized design of a nanowire grid polarizer at near- and mid-infrared wavelengths is presented.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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