Multiple paths to enhance optical transmission through a single subwavelength slit

Phys Rev Lett. 2003 May 30;90(21):213901. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.90.213901. Epub 2003 May 29.


In this Letter, we explore transmission properties of a single subwavelength slit flanked by a finite array of grooves made on a thick metallic film. We identify three main mechanisms that can enhance optical transmission: groove cavity mode excitation (controlled by the depth of the grooves), in-phase groove reemission (controlled by the period of the groove array), and slit waveguide mode (controlled by the thickness of the metal film). By tuning these geometrical parameters, enhancements of transmission of light by up to 2 orders of magnitude can be achieved when all three mechanisms coincide. Experimental verification of these findings is also shown for structured silver films fabricated by focused-ion-beam milling.