Article

Squeezing Visible Light Waves into a 3-nm-Thick and 55-nm-Long Plasmon Cavity

National Institute for Materials Science, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan
Physical Review Letters (Impact Factor: 7.51). 04/2006; 96(9):097401. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.96.097401
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We demonstrate controlled squeezing of visible light waves into nanometer-sized optical cavities. The light is perpendicularly confined in a few-nanometer-thick SiO2 film sandwiched between Au claddings in the form of surface plasmon polaritons and exhibits Fabry-Perot resonances in a longitudinal direction. As the thickness of the dielectric core is reduced, the plasmon wavelength becomes shorter; then a smaller cavity is realized. A dispersion relation down to a surface plasmon wavelength of 51 nm for a red light, which is less than 8% of the free-space wavelength, was experimentally observed. Any obvious breakdowns of the macroscopic electromagnetics based on continuous dielectric media were not disclosed for 3-nm-thick cores.

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    • "The dark dashed lines indicate the respective cut-off photon energy given by ¯ hω = |eV b |. off continuously towards shorter wavelengths. In the absence of slots, as is the case for the reference device, inelastically tunneling electrons predominantly interact with surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) associated with the metal-insulator-metal (MIM) configuration [33] [34]. The dispersion relation of these modes can be calculated analytically (see Supplementary Information). "
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    • "Since the extraordinary optical transmission (EOT) phenomenon through arrays of nano-holes [1] milled in a metallic film has been first reported by Ebbesen et al., many nanoscale metallic structures, including single aperture [2] [3] [4], circular aperture arrays [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] and annular aperture arrays [10] [11] [12], have been widely studied on their physical mechanisms and applications in EOT. It is well known that surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) excited at the interface between metal and dielectric material play a crucial role in EOT phenomenon. "
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    • "А structure where a dielectric core is sandwiched between two metal layers is very promising as it can provide even smaller dimensions and higher field localization [8] [9]. A metal–insulator–metal (MIM) waveguide does not exhibit cutoff even at very small core thickness and thus allows unprecedented thin layouts of tens of nanometers [10] [11] [12]. Planar MIM plasmonic waveguides with thin metal claddings were studied and optimized for various purposes [13] [14] [15] [16] [17]. "
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