Plasmonic Optical Antennas for Enhanced Light Detection and Emission

Plasmonic Optical Antennas for Enhanced Light Detection and Emission

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Antennas are used across a wide range of frequencies in the electromagnetic spectrum to concentrate wave energy into electronic circuits. The principles that govern the operation of conventional radio-frequency antennas can be extended to much higher frequencies and be applied to produce nano-metallic (i.e. plasmonic) antennas that act as qreceiversq and qtransmittersq for visible light. These traits make them excellent candidates for light trapping in solar cells, light concentration in sub-wavelength photodetectors, or even localized heating for cancer therapies. The unique optical properties of metals at visible frequencies make it difficult to apply traditional antenna design rules. Using full-field electromagnetic simulations and analytical antenna models, we developed new design rules for producing optical antennas with a desired set of optical properties. We then applied these design rules to create antennas that resonantly enhance absorption on thin silicon detectors as well as enhance emission of cathodoluminescence (CL). Through spatial and spectral mapping of both photocurrent and CL we clearly show the fundamental and higher-order resonant modes of these antennas. With CL we are also able to map the spatial distribution of these resonant modes with nanometer resolution. In addition to these specific demonstrated applications, the results of this work enable optical engineers to more easily design a myriad of plasmonic devices that employ optical antenna structures, including nanoscale photodetectors, light sources, sensors, and modulators.Jackson, J. B. aamp; Halas, N. J. Surface-enhanced Raman scattering on tunable plasmonic nanoparticle substrates. Proc. Nat. Acad. ... Zia, R., Chandran, A. aamp; Brongersma, M. L. Dielectric waveguide model for guided surface polaritons. Opt. Lett.

Title:Plasmonic Optical Antennas for Enhanced Light Detection and Emission
Author:Edward Simon Barnard
Publisher:Stanford University - 2011


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