When light illuminates a thick metal film perforated with small holes, shadows appear. At the nanoscopic level, however, light can be emitted predominantly from the metal surfaces between the holes - shadows can be indeed brighter than the lighted holes. The symmetry of the near-field emission pattern is determined by the symmetry of the surface plasmon waves. Surprisingly, these nanoscopic emission patterns from the metal can be preserved to the far-field region, where the pattern becomes sinusoidal. This unusual behavior of light emission from the shadows is explained by efficient wave vector selection.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)