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Optical activity in sub-wavelength metallic grids and fishnet metamaterials in the conical mount

: Oates, Thomas W.H.; Dastmalchi, Babak; Helgert, Christian; Reissmann, Lars; Huebner, Uwe; Kley, Ernst-Bernhard; Verschuuren, Marc A.; Bergmair, Iris; Pertsch, Thomas; Hingerl, Kurt; Hinrichs, Karsten

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Optical Materials Express 3 (2013), No.4, pp.439-451
ISSN: 2159-3930
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IOF ()
analytical predictions; cross polarizations; generalized ellipsometry; linear birefringence; polarization conversion; simulated results; surface plasmon polaritons; rigorous coupledwave analyses (RCWA)

We report on measurements of optical activity in reflection in the conical mount from two plasmonically resonant nanostructures; a subwavelength silver meshed grid and a fishnet metamaterial. The squarecentimeter size of the materials, formed by nano-imprint lithography, allows reliable investigation of such materials by plane-wave techniques with minimal focusing. For both materials we observe strong polarization conversion (s- to p-polarization, and vice versa) in generalized ellipsometry measurements. We compared the spectra to analytical predictions using surface plasmon polariton (SPP) theory and find good agreement for the meshed grid. The spectra for the meshed grid are also well modeled using the rigorous coupled wave analysis (RCWA) technique. Simulated results for the more complicated fishnet layer showing qualitative agreement are also presented. We then probe the validity of describing the observations using homogenous parameters such as dichroism and birefringence, by examining the calculated reflection of nominally polarized incident light using simulated and measured Mueller matrices. The results show that the cross-polarization that we observe is primarily related to linear birefringence and dichroism, although circular effects are indeed present.