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Directional control of light by a nano-optical Yagi–Uda antenna


The plasmon resonance of metal nanoparticles can direct light from optical emitters in much the same way that radiofrequency antennas direct the emission from electrical circuits. Recently, rapid progress has been made in the realization of single-element antennas for optical waves1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12. Because most of these devices are designed to optimize the local near-field coupling between the antenna and an emitter, the possibility of modifying the spatial radiation pattern has not yet received as much attention13,14. In the radiofrequency regime, a typical antenna design for high directivity is the Yagi–Uda antenna, which essentially consists of a one-dimensional array of antenna elements driven by a single feed element. By fabricating a corresponding array of nanoparticles, similar radiation patterns can be obtained in the optical regime15,16,17,18. Here, we present the experimental demonstration of directional control of radiation from a nano-optical Yagi–Uda antenna composed of appropriately tuned gold nanorods.

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Figure 1: Typical geometry of a five-element RF Yagi–Uda antenna.
Figure 2: Properties of the antenna elements and the measurement set-up.
Figure 3: Radiation patterns of two-element antennas.
Figure 4: Measured (solid circles) and predicted (open circles) radiation patterns of the five-element Yagi–Uda antenna.


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Part of this work was supported by the Grant-in-Aid Scientific Research from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.

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All authors conceived and designed the experiment. T.K. prepared the samples and carried out the measurement. All authors participated in the analysis of the data and in the writing of the paper.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Yutaka Kadoya.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Kosako, T., Kadoya, Y. & Hofmann, H. Directional control of light by a nano-optical Yagi–Uda antenna. Nature Photon 4, 312–315 (2010).

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