Optical properties of metal nanowires and nanowire composite materials are studied. An incident electromagnetic wave can effectively couple to the propagating surface plasmon polariton (SPP) modes in metal nanowires resulting in very large local fields. The excited SPP modes depend on the structure of nanowires and their orientation with respect to incident radiation. A nanowire percolation composite is shown to have a broadband spectrum of localized plasmon modes. We also show that a composite of nanowires arranged into parallel pairs can act as a left-handed material with the effective magnetic permeability and dielectric permittivity both negative in the visible and near-infrared spectral ranges.
© 2003 Optical Society of America
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