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We report on the fabrication and characterization of large-area 2-D square arrays of subwavelength holes in Ag and Al films. Fabrication is based on thermal nanoimprint lithography and metal evaporation, without the need for etching, and is compatible with low-cost, large-scale production. Reflectance spectra for these arrays display an intensity minimum whose amplitude, center wavelength, and line width depend on the geometry of the array and the reflectivity of the metal film. By placing various fluids in contact with the subwavelength aperture arrays, we observe that the center wavelength of the reflectance minimum varies linearly with the refractive index of the fluid with a sensitivity of over 500 nm per refractive index unit. The surface plasmon theory is used to predict sensitivities to refractive index change with accuracies better than 0.5%.
Date of Publication: Sept. 2008