Optical antennas and plasmonics

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Citations (Scopus)


Optical antenna is a nanoscale miniaturisation of radio or microwave antennas that is also governed by the rule of plasmonics. We introduce various types of optical antenna and make an overview of recent developments in optical antenna research. The role of local and surface plasmons in optical antenna is explained through antenna resonance and resonance conditions for specific metal structures are explicitly obtained. A strong electric field is shown to exist within a highly localised region of optical antennas such as antenna feed gap or apertures. We describe physical properties of field enhancement in apertures (circular and rectangular holes) and gaps (infinite slit and feed gap), as well as experimental techniques measuring enhanced electric vector field. We discuss the analogies and differences between conventional and optical antennas with a projection for future developments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-423
Number of pages17
JournalContemporary Physics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Mar


  • Enhancement
  • Metal
  • Optical antenna
  • Resonance
  • Subwavelength
  • Surface plasmon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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