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Tuning the scattering response of optical nanoantennas with nanocircuit loads


Optical nanodipoles made of plasmonic elongated nanoparticles have been theoretically and experimentally characterized by various groups in recent studies1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10. However, compared with their radiofrequency counterparts, less attention has so far been paid to systematic design methodology for these nanoantennas, and in particular to the possibility of optimizing their radiation and scattering properties and tuning their frequency response by using proper ‘loading’ techniques. By interpreting nanoparticles' interaction with light as lumped nanocircuit elements11,12, we show how the concepts of antenna loading may be fully introduced in plasmonic nanoantenna design. In particular, we show how nanocircuit elements, and in general more complex nanofilters, designed within the framework of nanocircuit theory11 and used as nanoloads, may allow tuning of the frequency response of scattering from these nanoantennas at will. Series and parallel combinations of these nanoloads are also considered to add further degrees of freedom in the design.

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Figure 1: Analogy between loading of a regular RF dipole and an optical nanodipole antenna.
Figure 2: Input and dipole impedances.
Figure 3: Scattering resonance shift.
Figure 4: Tailoring the scattering resonance using two loads.


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This work was supported in part by the US Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) grant no. FA9550-05-1-0442.

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Correspondence to Nader Engheta.

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Alù, A., Engheta, N. Tuning the scattering response of optical nanoantennas with nanocircuit loads. Nature Photon 2, 307–310 (2008).

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