Our new paper on surface plasmon emission by inelastic tunneling is out !
Antenna surface plasmon emission by inelastic tunneling
Take a look at our recent paper published in Nature Comms, on the work carried out by our fellow postdoc Dr. Cheng Zhang and co-authors on inelastic electron tunneling. Congrats Cheng !
Surface plasmons polaritons are mixed electronic and electromagnetic waves. They have become a workhorse of nanophotonics because plasmonic modes can be confined in space at the nanometer scale and in time at the 10 fs scale. However, in practice, plasmonic modes are often excited using diffraction-limited beams. In order to take full advantage of their potential for sensing and information technology, it is necessary to develop a microscale ultrafast electrical source of surface plasmons. Here, we report the design, fabrication and characterization of nanoantennas to emit surface plasmons by inelastic electron tunneling. The antenna controls the emission spectrum, the emission polarization, and enhances the emission efficiency by more than three orders of magnitude. We introduce a theoretical model of the antenna in good agreement with the results.