Gold triple-helix mid-infrared metamaterial by STED-inspired laser lithography
J. Kaschke and M. Wegener
Opt. Lett. 40, 3986-3989 (2015)
- Date: 20.08.2015
In analogy to wire-grid polarizers for linear polarization, metal-helix metamaterials can act as broadband circular polarizers. This concept has brought circular-polarization capabilities to mid-infrared and terahertz frequencies, which were previously difficult to access. Due to the lack of rotational symmetry, however, single-helix metamaterials exhibit unwanted circular-polarization conversions. Recent theoretical work showed that conversions can be fully eliminated by intertwining 𝑁=3 or 4 helices within each unit cell. While direct laser writing in positive-tone photo-resist yielded good results for single-helix metamaterials operating at mid-infrared frequencies, the axial resolution is insufficient for 𝑁-helix metamaterials. Here, we use stimulated emission depletion-inspired three-dimensional laser lithography to fabricate such microstructures. We measure all entries of the Jones transmission and reflection matrices and show experimentally that polarization conversions are minimized, in good agreement with theory.