Remote structuring of near-field landscapes
V Ginis, M Piccardo, M Tamagnone, J Lu, M Qiu, S Kheifets, F Capasso
The electromagnetic near field enables subwavelength applications such as near-field microscopy and nanoparticle manipulation. Present methods to structure the near field rely on optical antenna theory, involving nanostructures that locally convert propagating waves into confined near-field patterns. We developed a theory of remote rather than local near-field shaping, based on cascaded mode conversion and interference of counterpropagating guided waves with different propagation constants. We demonstrate how to structure at will the longitudinal and transverse variation of the near field, allowing for distributions beyond the conventional monotonic decay of the evanescent field. We provide an experimental realization that confirms our theory. Our method applies to fields with arbitrary polarization states and mode profiles, providing a path toward three-dimensional control of the near field.