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Published June 9, 2008 | Published
Journal Article Open

Universal optical transmission features in periodic and quasiperiodic hole arrays


We investigate the influence of array order in the optical transmission properties of subwavelength hole arrays, by comparing the experimental spectral transmittance of periodic and quasiperiodic hole arrays as a function of frequency. We find that periodicity and long-range order are not necessary requirements for obtaining enhanced and suppressed optical transmission, provided short-range order is maintained. Transmission maxima and minima are shown to result, respectively, from constructive and destructive interference at each hole, between the light incident upon and exiting from a given hole, and surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) arriving from individual neighboring holes. These SPPs are launched along both illuminated and exit surfaces, by diffraction of the incident and emerging light at the neighboring individual subwavelength holes. By characterizing the optical transmission of a pair of subwavelength holes as a function of hole-hole distance, we demonstrate that a subwavelength hole can launch SPPs with an efficiency up to 35%, and with an experimentally determined launch phase φ = π/2, for both input-side and exit-side SPPs. This characteristic phase has a crucial influence on the shape of the transmission spectra, determining transmission minima in periodic arrays at those frequencies where grating coupling arguments would instead predict maxima.

Additional Information

© 2008 Optical Society of America. Received 25 March 2008; revised 28 May 2008; accepted 28 May 2008; published 6 June 2008. We acknowledge from the Department of Energy, Basic Energy Sciences program under grant DOE DE-FG02-07ER46405.

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