Multiscale Plasmonic Metamaterials

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Metallic nanostructures are able to confine and manipulate electromagnetic fields because light can couple to free electron oscillations called surface plasmons (SPs). These plasmons exist on metal surfaces as localized (short-range) or as propagating (long-range) modes depending upon the size and geometry of the nanostructure. This dichotomy is primarily an issue of scale that has largely been studied with sample geometries dominated by one type of plasmon mode. We believe this difference in length scale provides a unique opportunity to design new plasmonic nanostructures with effective, tunable optical properties by organizing metallic building blocks over multiple length scales. This approach takes advantage of both propagating and confined plasmon modes in the same nanoscale system, with tunable coupling between different SPs. This dissertation describes a new set of techniques for high-throughput nanofabrication based on soft lithography. We have generated metallic structures that expand on the fundamental science of surface plasmons, and our major observations include: (i) metallic pyramids with nanoscale tips that exhibit multipolar optical resonances depending on the direction and polarization of the incident light. (ii) SP standing waves between microscale arrays of nanoscale holes that enhance light transmission through the holes by a factor of 8X. (iii) Plasmonic metamaterials that exhibit optical properties by changing the lattice spacings of subwavelength nanohole arrays. (iv) Ultra-narrow, hybridized plasmon resonances and far-field beaming with finite-arrays of nanoholes. Such unique metallic structures have established a better understanding of the relationship between localized and propagating SPs and now enable an accessible platform for applied studies in nanophotonics and single molecule imaging.

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  • 08/29/2018
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