Optical Properties of Plasmonic Zone Plate Lens, SERS-active Substrate and Infrared Dipole Antenna

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2010-10-12

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Nowadays plasmonics is rapidly developing areas from fundamental studies to more application driven research. This dissertation contains three different research topics on plasmonics. In the first research topic, by modulating the zone width of a plasmonic zone plate, we demonstrate that a beam focused by a proposed plasmonic zone plate lens can be achieved with higher intensity and smaller spot size than the diffraction-limited conventional zone plate lens. This sub-diffraction focusing capability is attributed to extraordinary optical transmission, which is explained by the complex propagation constant in the zone regions afforded by higher refractive index dielectric layer and surface plasmons. On the other hand, the resulted diffraction efficiency of this device is relatively low. By introducing a metal/dielectric multilayered zone plate, we present higher field enhancement at the focal point. This higher field enhancement originates not only from surface plasmon polaritons-assisted diffraction process along the propagation direction of the incident light (longitude mode), but also from multiple scattering and coupling of surface plasmons along the metal/dielectric interface (transverse mode). In the second research topic, we suggest a novel concept of SERS-active substrate applications. The surface-enhanced Raman scattering enhancement factor supported by gap surface plasmon polaritons is introduced. Due to higher effective refractive index induced by gap surface plasmon polaritons in the spacer region between two metal plates, incident light tends to localize itself mostly in the medium with higher refractive index than its adjacent ones and thereby the lights can confine with larger field enhancement. In the last research topic, we offer a simple structure in which a gold dipole antenna is formed on the SiC substrate. Surface phonon polaritons, counterparts of surface plasmon polaritons in the mid-infrared frequencies, are developed. Due to the synergistic action between the conventional dipole antenna coupling and the resonant excitation of surface phonon polaritons, strong field enhancement in the gap region of dipole antenna is attained. Most of research topics above are expected to find promising applications such as maskless nanolithography, high resolution scanning optical microscopy, optical data storage, optical antenna, SERS-active substrate, bio-molecular sensing and highly sensitive photo-detectors.

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