A major challenge facing plasmon nanophotonics is the poor dynamic tunability. A functional nanophotonic element would feature the real-time sizeable tunability of transmission, reflection of light’s intensity or polarization over a broad range of wavelengths, and would be robust and easy to integrate. Here we devise an ultra-thin chiroptical surface, built on 2D nanoantennas, where the chiral light transmission is controlled by the externally applied magnetic field. We produced a class of highly tunable by the magnetic field macroscale bottom-up plasmonic chiroptical surfaces. The tuned parameter is the chiroptical transmission, enabled by the nanoantenna design that accommodates ferromagnetic plasmonic elements. The already significant chiroptical response of this system is further tuned up to 150% by the external magnetic field. The presented compact 2D design promises the easy integration and potentially fast operation in the broad spectral range, enabling this type of functional plasmonic surfaces entering the realm of practical optical devices. The magnetic field-induced modulation of the far-field chiroptical response with this surface exceeds 100% in the visible and near-infrared spectral ranges, opening the route for nanometer-thin magnetoplasmonic light-modulating surfaces tuned in real time and featuring a broad spectral response. For this we design a 2D composite trimer nanoantennas comprising three near-field-coupled nanosized disks of diameters close to 100 nm and identical height of 30 nm, of which one is made of a ferromagnetic material and the other two are made of a noble metal. The use of two materials breaks the 2D rotational symmetry, endowing the handedness to the trimer that results in a chiroptical response in otherwise structurally symmetric nanoantenna. We leverage on the presence of the plasmon resonances in metallic nanoferromagnets to add the magnetoplasmonic functionality to the system.
Plasmon rulers are an emerging concept in
which the strong near-field coupling of plasmon nanoantenna
elements is employed to obtain structural information at the
nanoscale. Here, we combine nanoplasmonics and nanomagnetism
to conceptualize a magnetoplasmonic dimer
nanoantenna that would be able to report nanoscale distances
while optimizing its own spatial orientation. The latter
constitutes an active operation in which a dynamically
optimized optical response per measured unit length allows
for the measurement of small and large nanoscale distances
with about 2 orders of magnitude higher precision than current
state-of-the-art plasmon rulers. We further propose a concept to optically measure the nanoscale response to the controlled
application of force with a magnetic field.