Plasmonic optical interference

Dukhyun Choi, Chang Kyun Shin, Daesung Yoon, Deuk Seok Chung, Yong Wan Jin, Luke P. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Understanding optical interference is of great importance in fundamental and analytical optical design for next-generation personal, industrial, and military applications. So far, various researches have been performed for optical interference phenomena, but there have been no reports on plasmonic optical interference. Here, we report that optical interference could be effectively coupled with surface plasmons, resulting in enhanced optical absorption. We prepared a three-dimensional (3D) plasmonic nanostructure that consists of a plasmonic layer at the top, a nanoporous dielectric layer at the center, and a mirror layer at the bottom. The plasmonic layer mediates strong plasmonic absorption when the constructive interference pattern is matched with the plasmonic component. By tailoring the thickness of the dielectric layer, the strong plasmonic absorption can facilely be controlled and covers the full visible range. The plasmonic interference in the 3D nanostructure thus creates brilliant structural colors. We develop a design equation to determine the thickness of the dielectric layer in a 3D plasmonic nanostructure that could create the maximum absorption at a given wavelength. It is further demonstrated that the 3D plasmonic nanostructure can be realized on a flexible substrate. Our 3D plasmonic nanostructures will have a huge impact on the fields of optoelectronic systems, biochemical optical sensors, and spectral imaging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3374-3381
Number of pages8
JournalNano Letters
Issue number6
StatePublished - 11 Jun 2014


  • absorption
  • anodic aluminum oxide
  • optical interference
  • Plasmon
  • structural color


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