Abstract

The optical transmission of an individual subwavelength aperture in a multilayered metal film is shown to be enhanced compared with that of a homogeneous metal film. The enhancement effect is due to the light coupling to surface plasmon excitation facilitated by a film periodicity. The sensitivity of the transmission to the dielectric filling of the aperture is also shown. The latter effect can be used to switch and control the transmittance. Devices based on enhanced transmission through nanosized apertures can find applications in high-density optical and magneto-optical data storage, high-resolution microscopy, and photolithography, where nanoscale light sources with high-optical-power throughput are required, as well as in sensor applications.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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