Fano-resonant plasmonic metamaterials and their applications
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Manipulating electromagnetic fields with plasmonic nanostructures has attracted researchers from interdisciplinary areas and opened up a wide variety of applications. Despite the intriguing aspect of inducing unusual optical properties such as negative indices and indefinite permittivity and permeability, engineered plasmonic nanostructures are also capable of concentrating electromagnetic waves into a diffraction-unlimited volume, thus induce incredible light-matter interaction. In this dissertation, I’ll discuss about a class of plasmonic structures that exhibit the Fano resonance. The Fano resonance is in principle the interference between two resonant modes of distinct lifetimes. Through the Fano resonance, the electromagnetic energy can be trapped in the so called “dark” mode and induce strong local field enhancement. A variety of Fano resonant nanostructures ranging from periodic planar arrays to simple clusters composed of only two particles are demonstrated in this dissertation. By artificially designing the dimensions of the structures, these Fano-resonant materials can be operated over a broad frequency range (from visible to mid-IR) to target the specific applications of interest. In this dissertation, I’ll show the following research results obtained during my PhD study: (1) the double-continuum Fano resonant materials that can slow down the speed of light over a broad frequency range with little group velocity dispersion. (2) Ultra-sensitive detection and characterization of proteins using the strong light-matter interaction provided by the Fano-reonant asymmetric metamaterials. (3) Metamaterials absorbers with nearly 100 % absorbance, tunable spectral position, expandable bandwidth, and wide angle absorption. These Fano-resonant materials can have profound influences in the areas of optical signal processing, life science, bio-defense, energy harvesting and so on.