Visible-light filters constructed from nanostructured materials typically consist of a metallic grating and rely on the excitation of surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs). In order to operate at full efficiency, the number of grating elements needs to be maximized such that light can couple more efficiently to the SPPs through improved diffraction. Such conditions impose a limitation on the compactness of the filter since a larger number of grating elements represents a larger effective size. For emerging applications involving nanoscale transmitters or receivers, a device that can filter localized excitations is highly anticipated but is challenging to realize through grating-type filters. In this work, we present the design of an optical filter operating with a single element, marking a departure from diffractive plasmonic coupling. Our device consists of a ZnO nanorod enclosed by two layers of Ag film. For diffraction-limited light focused on the nanorod, narrow passbands can be realized and tuned via variation of the nanorod diameter across the visible spectrum. The spectral and spatial filtering originates from scattering cancellation localized at the nanorod due to the cavity and nanorod exhibiting opposite effective dipole moments. This ability to realize high-performance optical filtering at the ultimate size introduces intriguing possibilities for nanoscale near-field communication or ultrahigh resolution imaging pixels.
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© 2015 American Chemical Society.
- color filter
- nanoscale filter
- optical filter