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    Bending plasmons around the corner

    22.04.14 - Nanophotonics and Metrology Using a finite-element, full-wave modeling approach, we present a flexible method of analyzing and simulating dielectric and plasmonic waveguide structures as well as their mode coupling. This method is applied to an integrated plasmonic circuit where a straight dielectric waveguide couples through a straight hybrid long-range plasmon waveguide to a uniformly bent hybrid one. The hybrid waveguide comprises a thin metal core embedded in a two–dimensional dielectric waveguide. The performance of such plasmonic circuits in terms of insertion losses is discussed.

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    Oxygen sensing using a strongly coupled bio-plasmonic system

    22.04.14 - Nanophotonics and Metrology We investigate theoretically the strong coupling between surface plasmon resonances (SPRs) and absorption bands of hemoglobin. When the surface plasmon resonance spectrally overlaps the absorption bands of hemoglobin, the system is strongly coupled and its dispersion diagram exhibits an anti-crossing. Working in the conditions of strong coupling enhances the sensitivity of a SPR sensor up to a factor of 10. A model for the permittivity of hemoglobin, both in oxygenated and deoxygenated states, is presented and the study is carried out for both angle and wavelength modulated SPR sensors. Finally, a differential measurement is shown to increase the sensitivity further.

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    Ab initio theory of Fano resonances in plasmonic systems

    22.04.14 - Nanophotonics and Metrology The transition from localized to delocalized plasmons (i.e. the transition from a situation where the decay length of a travelling surface plasma wave is greater than its propagation distance to a situation where it is smaller) and hence the onset of plasmon delocalization is studied in a single 2D silver nanoparticle of increasing length. A fourier analysis in the near-field of the nanoparticle is used as the main tool for analysis. This method, along with far-field scattering spectra simulations and the near-field profile directly above and along the length of the nanoparticle are used to investigate and clearly show the transition from localized to delocalized modes. In particular, it is found that for a finite sized rectangular nanoparticle, both the emerging odd and even delocalized modes are nothing but a superposition of many standing wave plasmon modes. As a consequence, even very short metal films can support delocalized plasmons that bounce back and forth along the film.

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    When do plasmons start to propagate?

    22.04.14 - Nanophotonics and Metrology The transition from localized to delocalized plasmons (i.e. the transition from a situation where the decay length of a travelling surface plasma wave is greater than its propagation distance to a situation where it is smaller) and hence the onset of plasmon delocalization is studied in a single 2D silver nanoparticle of increasing length. A fourier analysis in the near-field of the nanoparticle is used as the main tool for analysis. This method, along with far-field scattering spectra simulations and the near-field profile directly above and along the length of the nanoparticle are used to investigate and clearly show the transition from localized to delocalized modes. In particular, it is found that for a finite sized rectangular nanoparticle, both the emerging odd and even delocalized modes are nothing but a superposition of many standing wave plasmon modes. As a consequence, even very short metal films can support delocalized plasmons that bounce back and forth along the film.

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    SERS on Silver-coated Carbon nanotubes

    22.04.14 - Nanophotonics and Metrology The electric field enhancement associated with detailed structure within novel optical antenna nanostructures is modeled using the surface integral equation technique in the context of surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS). The antennae comprise random arrays of vertically aligned, multiwalled carbon nanotubes dressed with highly granular Ag. Different types of “hot-spot” underpinning the SERS are identified, but contrasting characteristics are revealed. Those at the outer edges of the Ag grains are antenna driven with field enhancement amplified in antenna antinodes while intergrain hotspots are largely independent of antenna activity. Hot-spots between the tops of antennae leaning towards each other also appear to benefit from antenna amplification.

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    Modelling realistic plasmonic nanoparticles

    22.04.14 - Nanophotonics and Metrology The enhancement of excitation and reemission of molecules in close proximity to plasmonic nanostructures is studied with special focus on the comparison between idealized and realistically shaped nanostructures. Numerical experiments show that for certain applications choosing a realistic geometry closely resembling the actual nanostructure is imperative, an idealized simulation geometry yielding significantly different results. Finally, a link between excitation and reemission processes is formed via the theory of optical reciprocity, allowing a transparent view of the electromagnetic processes involved in plasmon-enhanced fluorescence and Raman-scattering.

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    Modelling periodic nanostructures

    22.04.14 - Nanophotonics and Metrology A surface integral formulation for light scattering on periodic structures is presented. Electric and magnetic field equations are derived on the scatterers’ surfaces in the unit cell with periodic boundary conditions. The solution is calculated with the method of moments and relies on the evaluation of the periodic Green’s function performed with Ewald’s method. The accuracy of this approach is assessed in detail. With this versatile boundary element formulation, a very large variety of geometries can be simulated, including doubly periodic structures on substrates and in multilayered media. The surface discretization shows a high flexibility, allowing the investigation of irregular shapes including fabrication accuracy. Deep insights into the extreme near-field of the scatterers as well as in the corresponding far-field are revealed. This method will find numerous applications for the design of realistic photonic nanostructures, in which light propagation is tailored to produce novel optical effects.

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    Selection rules for plasmonics

    22.04.14 - Nanophotonics and Metrology We describe a general theoretical framework based on the Bergman spectral representation to study how a nanostructure interacts with an external electromagnetic field. The selection rules for localized surface plasmon resonances (LSPRs) are obtained by implementing the group theory upon the electric vector field. The influence of symmetry breaking on the splitting of degenerated modes and the switching of dark modes by specific illuminations are discussed. These results emphasize the fact that the selection rules for a vector field are different from the case of a scalar field and essentially induced by the geometry of the structure. Finally, this work not only points out that measurements of LSPRs may result in very different results with different external fields, but also provides a strategy to selectively excite specific LSPRs of plasmonic structures.

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    Resonance fluorescence assisted by plasmonic nanostructures

    22.04.14 - Nanophotonics and Metrology The resonance fluorescence of a two-level single molecular system interacting with a plasmonic nanostructure is investigated. Specific regions of space are identified, where a balance exists between the near-field enhancement and the modification of the decay rate, such that the fluorescence spectrum of the molecule exhibits the Mollow triplet and the emission photons are antibunched. The utilization of such quantum phenomena at the vicinity of custom-designed plasmonic nanostructures paves the way for applications in nanoscale quantum devices and quantum information processing.

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    An alternative to plasmonics ?

    22.04.14 - Nanophotonics and Metrology We present a direct evidence of Bloch surface waves (BSWs) waveguiding on ultrathin polymeric ridges, supported by near-field measurements. It is demonstrated that near-infrared BSWs sustained by a silicon-based multilayer can be locally coupled and guided through dielectric ridges of nanometric thickness with low propagation losses. Using a conventional prism-based configuration, we demonstrate a wavelength-selective BSW coupling inside and outside the ridge. Such a result can open interesting opportunities in surface wave-mediated sensing applications, where light could be selectively coupled in specific regions defined by nanometric reliefs.

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