We study the transmission of fluorescence through periodically modulated metal films. In one-dimensional corrugated films, transmission is mediated by coherent scattering of surface plasmons directly excited by fluorophores on the surface. This scattering is shown to be a two-dimensional problem in that diffraction orders along both axes are obtained with well-defined states of polarization. In films consisting of two-dimensional arrays of sub-wavelength apertures, an additional mechanism exists in the direct transmission of fluorescence through the apertures, which is the dominant mechanism of transmission as shown by measurement of the radiation pattern from these structures.
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