Using both analytical and numerical methods to study transmission of light through dielectric-filled subwavelength apertures in a real metal, we have found that a propagating mode can in principle exist inside a waveguide of arbitrary small size if a particular relationship between the dielectric constants of the cladding and filling materials at the incident frequency is satisfied. Practical transmission through a subwavelength aperture of finite depth can be enhanced when the depth is such that Fabry-Pérot-like resonances are excited. For 810 nm light incident on a silicon-filled 50-nm-diameter aperture in a 200-nm-thick gold film, we found that a normalized near-field intensity ratio of 1.6 at the exit can be achieved. This resonantly enhanced transmission phenomenon may be advantageously applicable to near-field scanning optical microscopy and single-molecule spectroscopy.
- Near-field scanning optical microscopy
- Surface plasmon polaritons
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry