In the first part of this talk, I will show our experimental investigation on the linear and nonlinear optical properties of metal film-coupled nanosphere monomers and dimers both with nanometric gaps. We have developed a new methodology - polarization resolved spectral decomposition and color decoding to “visualizing” unambiguously the spectral and radiation properties of the complex plasmonic gap modes in these hybrid nanostructures. Single-particle spectroscopic measurements indicate that these hybrid nanostructures can simultaneously enhance several nonlinear optical processes, such as second harmonic generation, two-photon absorption induced luminescence, and hyper-Raman scattering. In the second part, I will show how the polarization state of the emissions from sub-10 nm upconversion nanocrystals (UCNCs) can be modulated when they form a hybrid complex with a gold nanorod (GNR). Our single-particle scattering experiments expose how an interplay between excitation polarization and GNR orientation gives rise to an extraordinary polarized nature of the upconversion emissions from an individual hybrid nanostructure. We support our results by numerical simulations and, using Förster resonance energy transfer theory, we uncover how an overlap between the UCNC emission and GNR extinction bands as well as the mutual orientation between emission and plasmonic dipoles jointly determine the polarization state of the UC emissions.
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