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Title: Geometric Control Over the Edge Diffraction of Electrically Excited Surface Plasmon Polaritons by Tunnel Junctions
Authors: Andreea Radulescu
Nijhuis, C.A. 
Keywords: metal−insulator−metal tunnel junctions
inelastic tunneling
electrical excitation of plasmons
near-field coupling
back focal plane imaging
Issue Date: 12-Nov-2021
Publisher: American Chemical Society
Citation: Andreea Radulescu, VIJITH KALATHINGAL, Nijhuis, C.A. (2021-11-12). Geometric Control Over the Edge Diffraction of Electrically Excited Surface Plasmon Polaritons by Tunnel Junctions. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Rights: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Abstract: Plasmonic metal–insulator–metal tunnel junctions (MIM-TJs) readily excite surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) by inelastic electron tunneling, well below the diffraction limit, eliminating the need for bulky optical elements. The highly confined MIM cavity mode (MIM-SPP) excited by the tunneling electrons dominantly outcouples to photons and single-interface SPPs which further outcouple as photons and give characteristic features in the Fourier plane of observation. Here, we employ SPP waveguides, directly integrated with MIM-TJs, to explore the diffraction of single-interface SPPs at the edges of the metal stripe waveguides. In addition to the leakage of the SPP modes through the metal electrodes, SPP edge diffraction presents as an additional channel for SPP outcoupling, not limited by the thickness of the waveguide. Edge diffraction manifests as a straight-line feature in the Fourier plane of the far-field and by systematically varying the width of the waveguides, we show that the in-plane momentum of the SPPs can be controlled, which in turn leads to control over the edge diffraction. We fabricated MIM-TJs with integrated plasmonic stripe waveguides of different widths, and the propagation and confinement of the SPP modes along the edges of the SPP waveguides are directly identified by the experimental back focal plane imaging, which are further corroborated by numerical simulations. Our findings can be exploited for applications ranging from sensing to nonlinear plasmonics, where focusing and localization of SPP fields are necessary.
DOI: 10.1021/acsphotonics.1c01173
Rights: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
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