Ferrell–Berreman Modes in Plasmonic Epsilon-near-Zero Media

W. D. Newman, C. L. Cortes, J. Atkinson, S. Pramanik, R. G. DeCorby, and Z. Jacob, “Ferrell–Berreman Modes in Plasmonic Epsilon-near-Zero Media”, ACS Photonics, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 2–7, 2014.


We observe unique absorption resonances in silver/silica multilayer-based epsilon-near-zero (ENZ) metamaterials that are related to radiative bulk plasmon-polariton states of thin-films originally studied by Ferrell (1958) and Berreman (1963). In the local effective medium, metamaterial description, the unique effect of the excitation of these microscopic modes is counterintuitive and captured within the complex propagation constant, not the effective dielectric permittivities. Theoretical analysis of the band structure for our metamaterials shows the existence of multiple Ferrell–Berreman branches with slow light characteristics. The demonstration that the propagation constant reveals subtle microscopic resonances can lead to the design of devices where Ferrell–Berreman modes can be exploited for practical applications ranging from plasmonic sensing to imaging and absorption enhancement.

Last updated on 05/29/2021