Plasmonic metasurfaces with in-plane phase elements have a limit in transmission because they only affect the electric field of incident EM radiation. Recently, a set of out-of-plane plasmonic phase elements was designed using a genetic algorithm to work in the infrared as a Huygens metasurface with significantly improved transmission efficiency. A beam-steering metasurface (i.e., blazed transmissive diffraction grating) was fabricated from this design using membrane projection lithography (MPL) and characterized for its bidirectional transmittance distribution function as a function of scatter angle for normally incident light, and linear incident and transmitted polarizations. Measurements were compared with the designed behavior as predicted by finite element method (FEM) simulations that generated near fields for each phase element and propagated them to the far field as a metasurface using a Stratton–Chu formulation, but measurements showed strong zero-order diffraction not present in the simulation along with the designed +1-diffraction order. We analyze this disagreement between measured and ideal results. Further FEM modeling included the introduction of defects into the phase elements consistent with defects expected from the fabrication process and identified lateral displacement of the plasmonic decoration in the MPL structure as a potential cause for the reduced performance of the fabricated device.
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