You are on page 1of 3

© 2007 OSA/META 2007


Nanoaperture based Metamaterials
Carsten Rockstuhl, Ekaterina Pshenay-Severin, Jörg Petschulat, Thomas Pertsch, and Falk Lederer
Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Max-Wien Platz 1, 07743 Jena, Germany

Thomas Zentgraf*, Todd P. Meyrath, and Harald Giessen
University Stuttgart, Pfaffenwaldring 57, 70550 Stuttgart, Germany
also at Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research, Heisenbergstr. 1, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany

Abstract: We investigate metamaterials consisting of holes in thin metallic sheets that resemble
nanocavities or nanoapertures. Resonances of these structures relate to modes localized inside
the nanocavities. Their impact on effective material parameters is discussed.
©2007 Optical Society of America
OCIS codes: (160.4670) – Optical Materials; (260.5740) - Resonances; (160.3900) - Metals

1. Introduction
Metamaterials (MM) are artificially structured composites consisting of unit elements that are usually periodically
arranged in space. They allow for the tailoring of the refractive and diffractive properties or the effective linear and
nonlinear material parameters of matter [1]. Light propagation in such media is entirely governed by the dispersion
relation of Bloch-periodic eigenmodes. If one aims to allocate effective material parameters, light propagation has to
be dominated by the fundamental eigenmode. To obtain effective material parameters that strongly deviate from the
spatial average of the unit cells’ constituents, the unit elements are usually designed to resonate with an external
electro-magnetic wave. Presently two resonance mechanisms are predominantly used. The first is based on Mie-
resonances in spheres or cylinders made of a high permittivity material [2]. The second is based on plasmon
resonances excited in appropriately shaped single or coupled metallic elements [3].
Here we outline a third resonance mechanism that can be employed for the design of MMs. It consists of
appropriately shaped openings in thin metallic sheets. These structures show resonances upon the excitation of
localized fields that relate to modes in an infinitely extended metallic waveguide. These resonances represent a
counterpart to Mie-resonances, as both resonances tend to be localized inside the structure, although the mechanism
of optical isolation differs for both resonances. In addition, these resonances in thin metallic sheets are associated
with plasmon resonances when applying Babinet’s principle for understanding their origin. In this contribution, we
outline how such resonances can be used for the design of MMs with the example of a complementary split-ring-
resonators and complementary cut-wires. Most notably, we show for the first time how to obtain a negative refractive
index as small as neff = -0.3 for a single layer of a MM, employing the latter geometry at a wavelength of λ = 640 nm.
Second, we aim to understand the phenomena of enhanced transmission in subwavelength apertures in terms of
effective material parameters. And third, we discuss the advantages of MMs based on such nanocavity resonances
over MMs based on plasmon resonances in terms of radiation losses.
2. Complementary split-ring-resonators
Split-ring-resonators (SRR) were recently shown to be understandable as plasmonic structures that support a set of
eigenmodes. These eigenmodes are excitable under various conditions as long as the symmetry of the illuminating
wavefield matches the symmetry of the eigenmodes. They can be labeled according to the nodes in the amplitude of
the E-field component that points perpendicular to the surface of the SRR. With increasing mode number, the energy
necessary for their excitation increases. Babinet’s principle applied to the structure states that illuminating the
complementary structure with a complementary wavefield causes resonances at the same spectral position but with R
and T being interchanged. Reflected and transmitted intensity of such a complementary split-ring-resonator (c-SRR)
is shown in Fig. 1 (a) for normal incidence. The illuminating electric field is polarized perpendicular to the gap. The
thickness of the gold sheet is h = 15 nm. The c-SRR has a side length of l = 300 nm, a width of w = 40 nm and it is
periodically arranged with Λ = 400 nm. Spectral simulations were made with the Fourier-Modal-Method for which
experimentally available dielectric constants were assumed.
Two resonances appearing as transmission peaks can be seen at the same spectral positions where reflection peaks
appeared for normal SRR (λ1 = 3 µm and λ3 = 1.2 µm). Comparing the mode patterns for the SRR and c-SRR reveals
striking similarities. As Babinet’s principle applies not only to transmitted and reflected intensities but also to
eigenmodes, all features in the mode pattern that appear for SRRs in the E-field are observable in the H-field for the
c-SRR. In particular, the amplitude of the H-field component 20 nm above the c-SRR that points perpendicular to the

In this configuration the first and the third order mode can be excited at λ1 = 3 µm and λ3 = 1.81 µm). The spectral response is dominated by a resonant transmission peak at ν1 = 7000 cm-1 (λ1 = 1. This is related to the plasma frequency of the artificial medium formed by the periodically arranged metallic sheets.1 Transmission and reflection (a) through a c-SRR (see the inset) at normal incidence. The spectral position of the resonances are independent on the period of the structure which excludes delocalized plasmon resonances along the metallic sheet to be at the origin of the transmission peaks. Regarding them as independent entities. only the effective permittivity εeff is altered according to a Lorentz model. as shown in (b) and (c). The period in both transversal directions is Λx = Λy = 400 nm and the elongation of the finite metallic sheet in longitudinal direction is likewise 400 nm. The eigenmodes can be likewise labeled according to the nodes in that amplitude. At the resonance wavelengths the effective permittivity shows values close to unity. The presence of a first and third order mode are revealed. The modes are labeled in accordance with the amplitude nodes in this field component. The remaining imaginary part eliminates the possibility of perfect transmission. but with their minima. the impact on effective material parameters can be estimated on the grounds of physical arguments and compared with more rigid simulations based on a parameter retrieval. furthermore.pdf TuB16. It is related to the excitation of the fundamental mode in the nanocavity. This can be seen in Fig. 3. 1. modes are even excitable with an E-field polarized parallel to the gap.77 µm). This can be shown by comparing the E-field in the center of the nanocavity with the eigenmodes as calculated with a mode solver for an infinite structure.pdf surface is shown in Fig 1 (b) and (c) at the two resonance wavelengths. The illuminating plan wave has an electric component that is perpendicular to the gap of the c-SRR. all resonances in the c-SRR are excitable in the case of k and E being in-plane with the c- SRR. A second spectral feature is the sudden increase in transmission at ν = 13000 cm-1 (λ= 0.2 µm. © 2007 OSA/META 2007 a98_1. The direction of the illuminating plane was set to be parallel to the long axis of the rectangular aperture and parallel to the metallic sheet. Complementary cut-wires To obtain such a resonance in the effective material parameter. For the second order mode at ν2 = 12300 cm-1 (λ1 = 0. 2 (b) where the amplitude of the Ez-component in the center of the aperture is shown as calculated with the FDTD. The problem of obtaining enhanced transmission by the employment of sub-wavelength apertures can therefore be recast into the question as to how to design an artificial medium having effective material parameters resembling that of vacuum. Whereas resonances in the c-SRR relate to localized guided modes in the metallic nanocavity. We. observe a multitude of small resonances that relate to higher order modes excited in the nanocavity. For the orientation as shown in Fig. There the two maxima in the E-field amplitude can be seen. 2 (a). the similarity is evident. Based on the E-field distribution in the plane of the c-SRR. the modes in the SRR relate to plasmons excited in the metallic nanostructure. Fig. It will be outlined that relying on both approaches it turns out that a change in the effective permeability is not possible with these configurations. A nanoparticle with the same dimensions as the aperture in the thin metallic sheet shows a plasmon resonance at the same spectral position if the electric field oscillates parallel to the long axis. where the amplitude of the H-field component that is perpendicular to the SRR 20 nm above the terminating surface is shown. Similarly to the SRR. The analytical solution of such a mode (assuming a perfect conductor as the surrounding material and infinitely extended in the third dimension) would be that of a sinusoid with a half period. The aperture is in a thin metallic sheet made of gold that has a thickness of h = 15 nm. Field simulations were made with the Finite Difference Time Domain (FDTD) method. The illuminating E-field has a polarization parallel to the short axis of the rectangular nanocavity and is likewise in-plane with the metallic sheet. their scattered . Furthermore. Keeping in mind that the field shown is a superposition of the eigenmode and the illuminating field. 1 (b). The effective material parameters of such a structure show resonances at wavelengths that do not coincide with the maxima of transmission. the simpler structure of a complementary cut-wire can be employed.43 µm). the amplitude of the Ez-component is shown in Fig. Transmission and reflection of a rectangular aperture of length l = 300 nm and width w = 40 nm are shown in Fig.

Soukoulis et al. Increasing the thickness of the metallic sheet eliminates this problem. Shalaev. [2] V. For the thinnest sample. V. Pendry et al. Yannopapas and A. All geometrical parameters are given in the text and the orientation of the illumination relative to the structure can be deduced from (b).” Science 315. 60 and 120 nm) in Fig. “Negative Refractive Index at Optical Wavelengths. The real part of the effective material parameters for three different thicknesses of the metallic sheet are shown in (c) [blue solid curve h = 15 nm. practical implementations are presented.: Condes. Conclusions In our contribution. the permittivity shows the expected Drude-type background dispersion. red dash-dotted curve h= 60 nm and green dashed curve h = 120 nm]. Fig. Optics Express 14. Therefore no negative refractive index is observed. For a thickness of h = 120 nm. (2007). Results are shown for three thicknesses of the metallic sheets (h = 15. Matter 17. Additionally. all odd modes will alter the effective permeability as their scattered field is dominated by an electric quadrupole. The basic mechanisms are outlined. “Negative refractive index metamaterials from inherently non-magnetic materials for deep infrared to terahertz frequency ranges.2 is obtained at λ = 640 nm. References [1] C. “On the reinterpretation of resonances in split-ring-resonators at normal incidence”. Moroz.. they were retrieved using an appro- priate algorithm.. a weak negative refractive index of neff = -0. 47-49. © 2007 OSA/META 2007 a98_1. 5. 41-48. 47. Phys. 4. C. “Optical negative-index metamaterials. Rockstuhl et al. This was found to be a prerequisite for the observation of a strong magnetic response for an equivalent medium. (2006). To clarify the impact of the resonances on the effective material parameters. (2007).pdf field into the far-field resembles that of two E-dipoles that oscillate 180° out-of-phase..” Nature Photonics 1. and Enhanced Non-Linear Phenomena.” J.2 Reflection and transmission of a periodically arranged thin metallic sheet perforated with an elongated rectangular aperture. M. P. where the amplitude of the dominant Ez-component in the center is shown upon plane wave illumination at the first two resonances wavelength. 2075- 2084 (1999). the effective plasma frequency is so red-shifted that in the spectral domain of the first magnetic resonance the effective permittivity is not negative. Particularly from results for the thinnest sample. . 2 (c). “Magnetism from Conductors. presently too strong excitation of higher order Bloch modes) as well as their advantages in comparison to other approaches in the design of MMs will be discussed. we will introduce the idea of employment of resonances in nanocavities for the design of MMs and show experimental and theoretical results. which is a conesquence of the artificial plasma formed by the thin metallic sheets. 3717-3734 (2005). their disadvantages (low period to wavelength ratio.pdf TuB16. it can be seen that all even modes (even number of amplitude nodes in the Ez-component) will alter the effective permittivity as their field scattered into the far-field is dominated by that of an electric dipole. Microwave Theory Tech. 8827-8836.” IEEE Trans. [3] J.