Giant birefringence in optical antenna arrays with widely tailorable optical anisotropy

M. A. Kats, P. Genevet, G. Aoust, N. Yu, R. Blanchard, F. Aieta, Z. Gaburro, F. Capasso
2012 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America  
The manipulation of light by conventional optical components such as a lenses, prisms and wave plates involves engineering of the wavefront as it propagates through an optically-thick medium. A new class of ultra-flat optical components with high functionality can be designed by introducing abrupt phase shifts into the optical path, utilizing the resonant response of arrays of scatters with deeply-subwavelength thickness. As an application of this concept, we report a theoretical and
more » ... l study of birefringent arrays of two-dimensional (V- and Y-shaped) optical antennas which support two orthogonal charge-oscillation modes and serve as broadband, anisotropic optical elements that can be used to locally tailor the amplitude, phase, and polarization of light. The degree of optical anisotropy can be designed by controlling the interference between the light scattered by the antenna modes; in particular, we observe a striking effect in which the anisotropy disappears as a result of destructive interference. These properties are captured by a simple, physical model in which the antenna modes are treated as independent, orthogonally-oriented harmonic oscillators.
doi:10.1073/pnas.1210686109 fatcat:v4htyfyudbffrpna5rnp5o2dom