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Insights into directional scattering: from coupled dipoles to asymmetric dimer nanoantennas

  • Strong and directionally specific forward scattering from optical nanoantennas is of utmost importance for various applications in the broader context of photovoltaics and integrated light sources. Here, we outline a simple yet powerful design principle to perceive a nanoantenna that provides directional scattering into a higher index substrate based on the interference of multiple electric dipoles. A structural implementation of the electric dipole distribution is possible using plasmonic nanoparticles with a fairly simple geometry, i.e. two coupled rectangular nanoparticles, forming a dimer, on top of a substrate. The key to achieve directionality is to choose a sufficiently large size for the nanoparticles. This promotes the excitation of vertical electric dipole moments due to the bi-anisotropy of the nanoantenna. In turn, asymmetric scattering is obtained by ensuring the appropriate phase relation between the vertical electric dipole moments. The scattering strength and angular spread for an optimized nanoantenna can be shown to be broadband and robust against changes in the incidence angle. The scattering directionality is maintained even for an array configuration of the dimer. It only requires the preferred scattering direction of the isolated nanoantenna not to be prohibited by interference.

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Author:Aimi Abass, Philipp Gutsche, Bjorn Maes, Carsten Rockstuhl, Emiliano R Martins
Document Type:Article
Parent Title (English):Opt. Express
First Page:19638
Last Page:19650
Year of first publication:2016
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