Now published in Photoniques, the journal of the French Optical Society, international (english) edition: Is there a bright spot in the shadow of an opaque disk? Nearly 200 years ago, Augustin Fresnel and François Arago’s remarkable answer to this question validated the wave theory of light and inaugurated the modern theories of diffraction. Today, their renowned experiment can be easily reproduced using lasers and cameras. Far beyond its historical interest, the experiment is a versatile platform to illustrate the main concepts of optical physics, including diffraction, interference, speckle, and Fourier optics.
See also our series of videos on the youtube channel of Institut Fresnel.
Zero-mode waveguide metal nanoapertures are receiving a large interest owing to their ability to confine light at the nanoscale and enhance the fluorescence emission from single molecules. However, the interest for more advanced geometries beyond the vanilla circular shape remains badly understood.
In a recent publication in Nanoscale Advances, introduce a rational design for rectangular nanoapertures, and demonstrate how this optimized shape outperforms the classical circular zero-mode waveguides both in the visible and in the deep UV.
- Rectangular nanoapertures provide 50% brighter photon count rates together with shorter lifetimes as compared to their circular counterparts.
- We derive clear design parameters related to physical concepts.
- We achieve the highest fluorescence enhancement reported so far for deep UV plasmonics.