2 May 2014 Local low-energy electrical excitation of localized and propagating surface plasmons with a scanning tunneling microscope
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The highly confined nature of the fields from surface plasmons makes them excellent candidates for future nano-optical devices. Most often, optical excitation is used to excite surface plasmons. However, a local, low energy, electrical method for surface plasmon excitation would be preferable for device applications. The scanning tunneling microscope (STM) is an ideal, low energy, local source of electrons that can excite both localized (LSP) and propagating surface plasmons (SPP). Its local nature, along with the ability to precisely position the excitation source and the absence of any background light from the excitation are essential for our experiments. We have used this technique to locally excite surface plasmons on a variety of metal structures. In our setup, the STM is coupled to an inverted optical microscope and the resulting emitted light is collected through the glass substrate. In such a configuration, both the light emitted from localized plasmons as well as the leakage radiation from propagating surface plasmons may be recorded. Both real plane (spatial information) and Fourier plane (angular information) images may be obtained, as well as emission spectra. In this article we will present the results of STM-SPP excitation on thin Au films on glass and investigate the effect of Au film thickness on the SPP propagation length. These results demonstrate the unique features of STM-excited SPPs: the STM plasmon source may be considered equivalent to a series of oscillating vertical point dipoles, and the resulting plasmons consist of a 2D circular wave with a broadband spectrum. These properties are then exploited to study how SPPs scatter into photons from super and sub-wavelength sized holes. It is found that the larger the hole diameter, the more directional the scattering light. From a type of SPP-Young's experiment we determine that the orientation of the electric field is maintained when SPPs are scattered into photons at holes.
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Elizabeth Boer-Duchemin, Elizabeth Boer-Duchemin, Tao Wang, Tao Wang, Eric Le Moal, Eric Le Moal, Benoît Rogez, Benoît Rogez, Geneviève Comtet, Geneviève Comtet, Gérald Dujardin, Gérald Dujardin, } "Local low-energy electrical excitation of localized and propagating surface plasmons with a scanning tunneling microscope", Proc. SPIE 9126, Nanophotonics V, 91260K (2 May 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2051396; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2051396

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