Using plasmonic nanostructures to control electrically excited light emission

Abstract : In this thesis, we use different plasmonic nanostructures to control the emission of electrically-excited light. Our electrical emission is from an “STM-nanosource” which uses the inelastic tunnel current between the tip of a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) and a metallic sample, to locally excite both localized and propagating surface plasmon polaritons. The interaction of our STM-nanosource and a circular plasmonic lens (a series of concentric slits etched in a thick gold film) produces a radially polarized microsource of low angular spread (≈±4°). The influence of the structural parameters on the angular spread of the resulting microsource is also investigated. In addition, a low angular spread (<±7°) for a large wavelength range (650-850 nm) is achieved. Thus this electrically-driven microsource of nearly collimated light has a broad spectral response and is optimal over a wide energy range, especially in comparison with other resonant plasmonic structures such as Yagi-Uda nanoantennas. The interaction of our STM-nanosource and an elliptical plasmonic lens (a single elliptical slit etched in a thick gold film) is also studied. When the STM excitation is located at the focal point position of the elliptical plasmonic lens, a directional light beam of low angular spread is acquired. Moreover, in the experiment we find that by changing the eccentricity of the elliptical plasmonic lens, the emission angle is varied. It is found that the larger the eccentricity of the elliptical lens, the higher the emission angle. This study provides a better understanding of how plasmonic nanostructures shape the emission of light. The interaction of STM-excited SPPs and a planar plasmonic multi-layer stack structure is also investigated. It is demonstrated that using STM excitation we can probe the optical band structure of the Au-SiO₂-Au stack. We find that the thickness of the dielectric plays an important role in changing the coupling between the modes. We also compare the results obtained by both laser and STM excitation of the same stack structure. The results indicate that the STM technique is superior in sensitivity. These findings highlight the potential of the STM as a sensitive optical nanoscopic technique to probe the optical bands of plasmonic nanostructures. Finally, the interaction of an STM-nanosource and an individual triangular plate is also studied. We find that when the STM excitation is centered on the triangular plate, there is no directional light emission. However, when the STM-nanosource is located on the edge of the triangle, directional light emission is obtained. This study provides us a novel avenue to achieve directional light emission. We also study probing the optical LDOS of the triangle with the STM-nanosource. Thus, our results show that the manipulation of light is achieved through SPP-matter interactions. Using plasmonic nanostructures, we control the collimation, polarization, and direction of the light originating from the STM-nanosource.
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Shuiyan Cao. Using plasmonic nanostructures to control electrically excited light emission. Optics [physics.optics]. Université Paris-Saclay, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018SACLS042⟩. ⟨tel-02169208⟩

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