6 January 2012
Plasmonics is an active field that proposes to use the surface modes at the metal-dielectric interface in nanophotonics (sub-wavelength imaging and optics), spectroscopy (surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy), modifying the optical properties of materials among others. All these utilize the electron charge density wave or surface plasmon polaritons (SPP) at metal-dielectric interface.
Plasmonic crystals are specially designed metal-dielectric nanostructures that modify material properties due to plasmon mediation. One would require good theoretical, nanofabrication and characterization tools to predict and demonstrate novel phenomena. One such proposal is the enhancement of magneto-optical properties in magnetic materials so that the Kerr and Faraday effects are enhanced. Similarly, absorption and emission from semiconductors can be modified by plasmon mediation.
At TIFR, different types of plasmonic crystals are prepared. For example, Gold gratings of predetermined dimensions on dielectric thin films or dielectric gratings on metal-dielectric interfaces were made. We use electron beam lithography or interference lithography for patterning. By angle resolved, white light transmission measurements the SPP dispersion in this structure was measured and compared with numerical modeling.
Figure above shows magneto-plasmonic crystals made on Bi:YIG thin films. This crystal has been used to demonstrate the theoretically predicted enhancement in transverse magneto-optical Kerr Effect (TMOKE). As predicted two orders of magnitude enhacement in TMOKE has been demonstrated. This is the first demonstration of SPP mediated enhancement in TMOKE signal in transmission mode as well as TMOKE signal as a very efficient tool to identify the SPP resonances. These results demonstrate that plasmon mediation in designed plasmonic crystals can enhance the naturally weak optical properties to levels suitable for device realization.
Q & A
Pankaj Kumar Sharma : what is plasmonics
Tomin : Since plasmonic crystals are very small how do we measure its optical properties.