Drilling holes of nanometric dimensions in a metal film is a way conceptually simple to realize new nanophotonic components. In spite of its visible simplicity, a hole drilled in an opaque screen still inspires new perspectives of applications.
In a review published in Nature, Cyriaque Genet and Thomas Ebbesen (Institut de Science and Ingenierie Supramoleculaires, Louis Pasteur
The field of application of these structures is very wide, and is approached through certain specific examples. In opto-electronics, they improve the extraction of light of electroluminescent diodes and allow the development of ultrafast miniaturized silicon detectors. Biochemistry is another major domain of applications, notably through the detection of individual fluorescent molecules and enhanced infrared vibrational spectroscopy."Light in tiny holes"; Cyriaque Genet et Thomas W. Ebbesen, Nature 445, 39-46 (2007).