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Opt Express. 2009 Aug 17;17(17):14586-98.

Field enhancement in metallic subwavelength aperture arrays probed by erbium upconversion luminescence.

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Center for Nanophotonics, FOM-Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics (AMOLF), Science Park 113, 1098 XG Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Upconversion luminescence from erbium ions placed in the near field of subwavelength aperture arrays is used to investigate field enhancement of incident near-infrared light in such nanostructures. We study field enhancement due to the excitation of both propagating and localized surface plasmon resonances in arrays of square and annular apertures in a Au film. The conversion of 1480 nm excitation light to 980 nm emission is shown to be enhanced up to a factor 450 through a subwavelength hole array. The effects of array periodicity and aperture size are investigated. It is shown that a Fano model can describe both far-field transmission and near-field intensity. The upconversion enhancement reveals the wavelength and linewidth of the surface plasmon modes that are responsible for extraordinary transmission in such arrays. Angle-dependent measurements on annular aperture arrays prove that the field enhancement due to localized resonances is independent of the incident angle. These experiments provide insight in the mechanisms responsible for extraordinary transmission and are important for applications that aim to exploit near-field enhancement in nanostructured metal films.

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