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Published June 21, 2010 | Published
Journal Article Open

Symmetry breaking and strong coupling in planar optical metamaterials


We demonstrate narrow transmission resonances at near-infrared wavelengths utilizing coupled asymmetric split-ring resonators (SRRs). By breaking the symmetry of the coupled SRR system, one can excite dark (subradiant) resonant modes that are not readily accessible to symmetric SRR structures. We also show that the quality factor of metamaterial resonant elements can be controlled by tailoring the degree of asymmetry. Changing the distance between asymmetric resonators changes the coupling strength and results in resonant frequency tuning due to resonance hybridization.

Additional Information

© 2010 Optical Society of America. Received 29 Apr 2010; revised 28 May 2010; accepted 3 Jun 2010; published 7 Jun 2010. This work was supported by the DOE Office of Basic Energy Sciences 'Light-Material Interactions in Energy Conversion' Energy Frontier Research Center under grant DESC0001293 (HAA and KA), and in part by the Army Research Office (IMP); portions of this work were performed in facilities sponsored by the Center for Science and Engineering of Materials, an NSF MRSEC. We gratefully acknowledge critical support and infrastructure provided for this work by the Kavli Nanoscience Institute at Caltech. IMP acknowledges the support of a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship. We also gratefully acknowledge the help of Professor George Rossman for IR facilities and measurements.

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