Abstract

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

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