Electric field enhancement and light transmission in cylindrical nanoholes

Kevin L. Shuford, Mark A. Ratner, Stephen K. Gray, George C. Schatz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The properties of electric fields in subwavelength cylindrical apertures are examined upon excitation by a far-field source. We find that the largest enhancements are localized at the edge of the aperture, close to its rim. Both the entrance and exit rims of the hole can produce intense fields, although at long wavelengths thick slabs lead to smaller fields at the exit rim. The fields display a two lobe angular pattern characteristic of a radiating dipole in the near field. The influence of aperture size and slab thickness on field enhancement is presented. Although there is often a connection between peak transmission and peak field, the two rarely occur at the same wavelength. Enhancements in the electric field intensity can be increased by an order of magnitude by adding a grooved structure around the aperture, which acts as a grating and permits coupling to surface plasmon polaritons. Our results indicate that nanohole systems can be optimized to yield large electric field enhancements, making them an attractive medium for surface enhanced spectroscopies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-246
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Computational and Theoretical Nanoscience
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007


  • Field enhancement
  • Light transmission
  • Subwavelength aperture
  • Surface enhanced spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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