3D optical Yagi-Uda nanoantenna array
Future photonic circuits with the capability of high-speed data processing at optical frequencies will rely on the implementation of efficient emitters and detectors on the nanoscale. Towards this goal, bridging the size mismatch between optical radiation and subwavelength emitters or detectors by optical nanoantennas is a subject of current research in the field of plasmonics. Here we introduce an array of three-dimensional optical Yagi-Uda antennas, fabricated using top-down fabrication techniques combined with layer-by-layer processing. We show that the concepts of radiofrequency antenna arrays can be applied to the optical regime proving superior directional properties compared with a single planar optical antenna, particularly for emission and reception into the third dimension. Measuring the optical properties of the structure reveals that impinging light on the array is efficiently absorbed on the subwavelength scale because of the high directivity. Moreover, we show in simulations that combining the array with suitable feeding circuits gives rise to the prospect of beam steering at optical wavelengths.