A key quantity in the design of plasmonic antennas and metasurfaces, as well as metamaterials, is the electrodynamic polarizability of a single scattering building block. In particular, in the current merging of plasmonics and metamaterials, subwavelength scatterers are judged by their ability to present a large, generally anisotropic electric and magnetic polarizability, as well as a bi-anisotropic magnetoelectric polarizability. This bi-anisotropic response, whereby a magnetic dipole is induced through electric driving, and vice versa, is strongly linked to the optical activity and chiral response of plasmonic metamolecules. We present two distinct methods to retrieve the polarizibility tensor from electrodynamic simulations. As a basis for both, we use the surface integral equation (SIE) method to solve for the scattering response of arbitrary objects exactly. In the first retrieval method, we project scattered fields onto vector spherical harmonics with the aid of an exact discrete spherical harmonic Fourier transform on the unit sphere. In the second, we take the effective current distributions generated by SIE as a basis to calculate dipole moments. We verify that the first approach holds for scatterers of any size, while the second is only approximately correct for small scatterers. We present benchmark calculations, revisiting the zero-forward scattering paradox of Kerker et al (1983 J. Opt. Soc. Am. 73 765–7) and Alù and Engheta (2010 J. Nanophoton. 4 041590), relevant in dielectric scattering cancelation and sensor cloaking designs. Finally, we report the polarizability tensor of split rings, and show that split rings will strongly influence the emission of dipolar single emitters. In the context of plasmon-enhanced emission, split rings can imbue their large magnetic dipole moment on the emission of simple electric dipole emitters. We present a split ring antenna array design that is capable of converting the emission of a single linear dipole emitter in forward and backward beams of directional emission of opposite handedness. This design can, for instance, find application in the spin angular momentum encoding of quantum information.

E. Verhagen (Ewold)
New J. Phys.
Resonant Nanophotonics

Bernal Arango, F., & Koenderink, F. (2013). Polarizability tensor retrieval for magnetic and plasmonic antenna design. New J. Phys., 15(Article number: 73023), 1–20. doi:10.1088/1367-2630/15/7/073023