Surface plasmon hurdles leading to a strongly localized giant field enhancement on two-dimensional (2D) metallic diffraction gratings

Yoann Brûlé 1, 2 Guillaume Demésy 2 Boris Gralak 1 Evgeny Popov 3, *
* Corresponding author
1 EPSILON - EPSILON
FRESNEL - Institut FRESNEL
2 ATHENA - ATHENA
FRESNEL - Institut FRESNEL
3 CLARTE - CLARTE
FRESNEL - Institut FRESNEL
Abstract : An extensive numerical study of diffraction of a plane monochromatic wave by a single gold cone on a plane gold substrate and by a periodical array of such cones shows formation of curls in the map of the Poynting vector. They result from the interference between the incident wave, the wave reflected by the substrate, and the field scattered by the cone(s). In case of a single cone, when going away from its base along the surface, the main contribution in the scattered field is given by the plasmon surface wave (PSW) excited on the surface. As expected, it has a predominant direction of propagation, determined by the incident wave polarization. Two particular cones with height approximately 1/6 and 1/3 of the wavelength are studied in detail, as they present the strongest absorption and field enhancement when arranged in a periodic array. While the PSW excited by the smaller single cone shows an energy flux globally directed along the substrate surface, we show that curls of the Poynting vector generated with the larger cone touch the diopter surface. At this point, their direction is opposite to the energy flow of the PSW, which is then forced to jump over the vortex regions. Arranging the cones in a two-dimensional subwavelength periodic array (diffraction grating), supporting a specular reflected order only, resonantly strengthens the field intensity at the tip of cones and leads to a field intensity enhancement of the order of 10 000 with respect to the incident wave intensity. The enhanced field is strongly localized on the rounded top of the cones. It is accompanied by a total absorption of the incident light exhibiting large angular tolerances. This strongly localized giant field enhancement can be of much interest in many applications, including fluorescence spectroscopy, label-free biosensing, surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS), nonlinear optical effects and photovoltaics
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Yoann Brûlé, Guillaume Demésy, Boris Gralak, Evgeny Popov. Surface plasmon hurdles leading to a strongly localized giant field enhancement on two-dimensional (2D) metallic diffraction gratings. Optics Express, Optical Society of America, 2015, 23, pp.9167-9182. ⟨10.1364/OE.23.009167⟩. ⟨hal-01216136⟩

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