Geometric frustration in ordered lattices of plasmonic nanoelements

Ana Conde-Rubio, Arantxa Fraile Rodríguez, André Espinha, Agustín Mihi, Francesc Pérez-Murano, Xavier Batlle & Amílcar Labarta. Scientific Reports, volume 9, Article number: 3529 (2019).

Inspired by geometrically frustrated magnetic systems, we present the optical response of three cases of hexagonal lattices of plasmonic nanoelements. All of them were designed using a metal-insulator-metal configuration to enhance absorption of light, with elements in close proximity to exploit near-field coupling, and with triangular symmetry to induce frustration of the dipolar polarization in the gaps between neighboring structures. Both simulations and experimental results demonstrate that these systems behave as perfect absorbers in the visible and/or the near infrared. Besides, the numerical study of the time evolution shows that they exhibit a relatively extended time response over which the system fluctuates between localized and collective modes. It is of particular interest the echoed excitation of surface lattice resonance modes, which are still present at long times because of the geometric frustration inherent to the triangular lattice. It is worth noting that the excitation of collective modes is also enhanced in other types of arrays where dipolar excitations of the nanoelements are hampered by the symmetry of the array. However, we would like to emphasize that the enhancement in triangular arrays can be significantly larger because of the inherent geometric incompatibility of dipolar excitations and three-fold symmetry axes.


Geometric frustration in ordered lattices of plasmonic nanoelements

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