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Published July 8, 2009 | Supplemental Material
Journal Article Open

Tunable color filters based on metal-insulator-metal resonators


We report a method for filtering white light into individual colors using metal−insulator−metal resonators. The resonators are designed to support photonic modes at visible frequencies, and dispersion relations are developed for realistic experimental configurations. Experimental results indicate that passive Ag/Si_3N_4/Au resonators exhibit color filtering across the entire visible spectrum. Full field electromagnetic simulations were performed on active resonators for which the resonator length was varied from 1−3 μm and the output slit depth was systematically varied throughout the thickness of the dielectric layer. These resonators are shown to filter colors based on interference between the optical modes within the dielectric layer. By careful design of the output coupling, the resonator can selectively couple to intensity maxima of different photonic modes and, as a result, preferentially select any of the primary colors. We also illustrate how refractive index modulation in metal−insulator−metal resonators can yield actively tunable color filters. Simulations using lithium niobate as the dielectric layer and the top and bottom Ag layers as electrodes, indicate that the output color can be tuned over the visible spectrum with an applied field.

Additional Information

© 2009 American Chemical Society. Received March 10, 2009; revised Manuscript received May 14, 2009; publication date (Web): June 15, 2009. This research was supported by the AFOSR Grant FA9550-06-1-0480 and ARO-MURI Grant W911NF-07-1-0410. We thank E. Feigenbaum and R. Briggs for engaging discussions. J.A.D. acknowledges support from the NSF and an NDSEG fellowship administered by the Army Research Office. M.S. acknowledges support from a NSF graduate research fellowship. This work was also supported by the Center for Science and Engineering of Materials, an NSF MRSEC.

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