Tailoring Light-Matter Interaction with a Nanoscale Plasmon Resonator

Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA and Department of Physics, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA.
Physical Review Letters (Impact Factor: 7.73). 01/2012; 108(22):226803. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.108.226803

ABSTRACT We propose and demonstrate a new approach for achieving strong light-matter
interactions with quantum emitters. Our approach makes use of a plasmon
resonator composed of defect-free, highly crystalline silver nanowires
surrounded by patterned dielectric distributed Bragg reflectors (DBRs). These
resonators have an effective mode volume (Veff) two orders of magnitude below
the diffraction limit and quality factor (Q) approaching 100, enabling
enhancement of spontaneous emission rates by a factor exceeding 75 at the
cavity resonance. We also show that these resonators can be used to convert a
broadband quantum emitter to a narrowband single-photon source with
color-selective emission enhancement.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Quantum plasmonics is a rapidly growing field of research that involves the study of the quantum properties of light and its interaction with matter at the nanoscale. Here, surface plasmons—electromagnetic excitations coupled to electron charge density waves on metal–dielectric interfaces or localized on metallic nanostructures—enable the confinement of light to scales far below that of conventional optics. We review recent progress in the experimental and theoretical investigation of the quantum properties of surface plasmons, their role in controlling light–matter interactions at the quantum level and potential applications. Quantum plasmonics opens up a new frontier in the study of the fundamental physics of surface plasmons and the realization of quantum-controlled devices, including single-photon sources, transistors and ultra-compact circuitry at the nanoscale. P lasmonics provides a unique setting for the manipulation of light via the confinement of the electromagnetic field to regions well below the diffraction limit 1,2 . This has opened up a wide range of applications based on extreme light concentration 3 , including nanophotonic lasers and amplifiers 4,5 , optical metamaterials 6 , biochemical sensing 7 and antennas trans-mitting and receiving light signals at the nanoscale 8 . These appli-cations and their rapid development have been made possible by the large array of experimental tools that have become available in recent years for nanoscale fabrication and theory tools in the form of powerful electromagnetic simulation methods. At the same time, and completely parallel to this remarkable progress, there has been a growing excitement about the prospects for exploring quantum properties of surface plasmons and building plasmonic devices that operate faithfully at the quantum level 9 . The hybrid nature of surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) as 'quasi-particles' makes them intriguing from a fundamental point of view, with many of their quantum properties still largely unknown. In addition, their potential for providing strong coupling of light to emitter systems, such as quantum dots 10,11 and nitrogen–vacancy (NV) centres 12 , via highly confined fields offers new opportunities for the quantum control of light, enabling devices such as efficient single-photon sources 13–16 and transistors 17–19 to be realized. Although surface plasmons are well known to suffer from large losses, there are also attractive prospects for building devices that can exploit this lossy nature for controlling dissipative quantum dynamics 20 . This new field of research combining modern plasmonics with quantum optics has become known as 'quantum plasmonics'. In this Review, we describe the wide range of research activities being pursued in the field of quantum plasmonics. We begin with a short description of SPPs and their quantization. Then, we discuss one of the major strengths of plasmonic systems: the ability to provide highly confined electromagnetic fields. We describe how this enables the enhancement of light–matter interactions and the progress that has been made so far in demonstrating a variety of schemes that take advantage of it in the quantum regime. We also review key experiments that have probed fundamental quantum properties of surface plasmons and their potential for building compact nanophotonic circuitry. We conclude by providing an
    Nature Physics 06/2013; 9:329-340. · 19.35 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Quantum emitters such as NV-centers or quantum dots can be used as single-photon sources. To improve their performance, they can be coupled to microcavities or nano-antennas. Plasmonic antennas offer an appealing solution as they can be used with broadband emitters. When properly designed, these antennas funnel light into useful modes, increasing the emission rate and the collection of single-photons. Yet, their inherent metallic losses are responsible for very low radiative efficiencies. Here, we introduce a new design of directional, metallo-dielectric, optical antennas with a Purcell factor of 150, a total efficiency of 74% and a collection efficiency of emitted photons of 99%.
    Optics Express 02/2014; 22(3):2337-47. · 3.55 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Spontaneous emission lifetime orientation distributions of a two-level quantum emitter in metallic nanorod structures are theoretically investigated by the rigorous electromagnetic Green function method. It was found that spontaneous emission lifetime strongly depended on the transition dipole orientation and the position of the emitter. The anisotropic factor defined as the ratio between the maximum and minimum values of the lifetimes along different dipole orientations can reach up to 10(3). It is much larger than those in dielectric structures which are only several times usually. Our results show that the localized plasmonic resonance effect provides a new degree of freedom to effectively control spontaneous emission by the dipole orientation of the quantum emitters.
    Nanoscale Research Letters 01/2014; 9(1):194. · 2.52 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
May 30, 2014