Resonantly enhanced transmission of light through subwavelength apertures with dielectric filling

Huizhong Xu, Pangshun Zhu, Harold G. Craighead, Watt W. Webb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1467-1471
Number of pages5
JournalOptics Communications
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 2009


  • Apertures
  • Diffraction
  • 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


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