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ACS Nano. 2011 Jun 28;5(6):5100-6. doi: 10.1021/nn201181p. Epub 2011 Apr 22.

Metamaterials for enhanced polarization conversion in plasmonic excitation.

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Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093, United States.


Surface plasmons efficient excitation is typically expected to be strongly constrained to transverse magnetic (TM) polarized incidence, as demonstrated so far, due to its intrinsic TM polarization. We report a designer plasmonic metamaterial that is engineered in a deep subwavelength scale in visible optical frequencies to overcome this fundamental limitation, and allows transverse electric (TE) polarized incidence to be strongly coupled to surface plasmons. The experimental verification, which is consistent with the analytical and numerical models, demonstrates this enhanced TE-to-plasmon coupling with efficiency close to 100%, which is far from what is possible through naturally available materials. This discovery will help to efficiently utilize the energy fallen into TE polarization and drastically increase overall excitation efficiency of future plasmonic devices.

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