The planar parabolic optical antenna
One of the simplest and most common structures used for directing light in macroscale applications is the parabolic reflector. Parabolic reflectors are ubiquitous in many technologies, from satellite dishes to hand-held flashlights. Today, there is a growing interest in the use of ultracompact metallic structures for manipulating light on the wavelength scale. Significant progress has been made in scaling radiowave antennas to the nanoscale for operation in the visible range, but similar scaling of parabolic reflectors employing ray-optics concepts has not yet been accomplished because of the difficulty in fabricating nanoscale three-dimensional surfaces. Here, we demonstrate that plasmon physics can be employed to realize a resonant elliptical cavity functioning as an essentially planar nanometallic structure that serves as a broadband unidirectional parabolic antenna at optical frequencies.