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Opt Express. 2011 Oct 10;19(21):21098-108. doi: 10.1364/OE.19.021098.

Extraordinary light transmission through opaque thin metal film with subwavelength holes blocked by metal disks.

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NanoStructures Laboratory, Department of Electrical Engineering, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA.


We observed that when subwavelength-sized holes in an optically opaque metal film are completely covered by opaque metal disks larger than the holes, the light transmission through the holes is not reduced, but rather enhanced. Particularly we report (i) the observation of light transmission through the holes blocked by the metal disks up to 70% larger than the unblocked holes; (ii) the observation of tuning the light transmission by varying the coupling strength between the blocking disks and the hole array, or by changing the size of the disks and holes; (iii) the observation and simulation that the metal disk blocker can improve light coupling from free space to a subwavelength hole; and (iv) the simulation that shows the light transmission through subwavelength holes can be enhanced, even though the gap between the disk and the metal film is partially connected with a metal. We believe these finding should have broad and significant impacts and applications to optical systems in many fields.

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