We show that inelastically-scattering tunnel electrons are a source for electric plasmon generation. We experimentally demonstrate such electrically-driven light-emitting tunnel junction by forward biasing a Fermi sea against a doped semiconductor across a nanometer-thin tunnel gap. Light emission at room temperature is found in the visible frequency range corresponding to a spectral power dependency of the tunnel current and the plasmonic mode. The response time (speed) of such a tunnel junction scales inverse exponentially with the tunnel gap thickness approaching Tpbs for <0.5nm thin gaps. Lastly, since tunneling allows for single-charge events, the possibility for single-photon generation is expected.
Hasan Goktas, Fikri Serdar Gökhan, and Volker J. Sorger, "Inelastic-scattering tunnel electrons towards an electrically driven single-photon light source (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10359, Quantum Nanophotonics, 103590N (Presented at SPIE Nanoscience + Engineering: August 08, 2017; Published: 25 September 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2275188.5588470635001.
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