ABSTRACT: Surface plasmon polaritons are electromagnetic waves coupled to collective electron oscillations propagating along metal-dielectric interfaces, exhibiting a bosonic character. Recent experiments involving surface plasmons guided by wires or stripes allowed the reproduction of quantum optics effects, such as antibunching with a single surface plasmon state, coalescence with a two-plasmon state, conservation of squeezing, or entanglement through plasmonic channels. We report the first direct demonstration of the wave-particle duality for a single surface plasmon freely propagating along a planar metal-air interface. We develop a platform that enables two complementary experiments, one revealing the particle behavior of the single-plasmon state through antibunching, and the other one where the interferences prove its wave nature. This result opens up new ways to exploit quantum conversion effects between different bosonic species as shown here with photons and polaritons.
Project description:A hyperbolic plasmonic surface supports highly directional propagating polaritons with extremely large density of states. Such plasmon polaritons have been realized in artificially structured metasurfaces. However, the upper bound of the achievable plasmon wave vector is limited by the structure size, which calls for a natural hyperbolic surface without any structuring. Here, we experimentally demonstrate a natural hyperbolic plasmonic surface based on thin films of WTe2 in the light wavelength range of 16 to 23 microns by far infrared absorption spectroscopy. The topological transition from the elliptic to the hyperbolic regime is further manifested by mapping the isofrequency contours of the plasmon. Moreover, the anisotropy character and plasmon frequency exhibit prominent temperature dependence. Our study demonstrates the first natural platform to host 2D hyperbolic plasmons, which opens exotic avenues for the manipulation of plasmon propagation, light-matter interaction and light emission in planar photonics.
Project description:Mapping near-field profiles and dynamics of surface plasmon polaritons is crucial for understanding their fundamental optical properties and designing miniaturized photonic devices. This requires a spatial resolution on the sub-wavelength scale because the effective polariton wavelength is shorter than free-space excitation wavelengths. Here by combining total internal reflection excitation with surface-enhanced Raman scattering imaging, we mapped at the sub-wavelength scale the spatial distribution of the dominant perpendicular component of surface plasmon fields in a metal nanoparticle-film system through spectrally selective and polarization-resolved excitation of the vertical gap mode. The lateral field-extension at the junction, which is determined by the gap-mode volume, is small enough to distinguish a spot size ~0.355?0 generated by a focused radially polarized beam with high reproducibility. The same excitation and imaging schemes are also used to trace near-field nano-focusing and interferences of surface plasmon polaritons created by a variety of plasmon lenses.
Project description:One-dimensional (1D) subwavelength corrugated metal structures has been described to support spoof surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs). Here we demonstrate that a periodically modulated 1D subwavelength corrugated metal structure can convert spoof SPPs to propagating waves. The structure is fed at the center through a slit with a connected waveguide on the input side. The subwavelength corrugated metal structure on the output surface is regarded as metasurface and modulated periodically to realize the leaky-wave radiation at the broadside. The surface impedance of the corrugated metal structure is modulated by using cosine function and triangle-wave function, respectively, to reach the radiation effect. Full wave simulations and measuremental results are presented to validate the proposed design.
Project description:A plasmonic modulator is a device that controls the amplitude or phase of propagating plasmons. In a pure plasmonic modulator, the presence or absence of a plasmonic pump wave controls the amplitude of a plasmonic probe wave through a channel. This control has to be mediated by an interaction between disparate plasmonic waves, typically requiring the integration of a nonlinear material. In this work, we demonstrate a 2D semiconductor nonlinear plasmonic modulator based on a WSe2 monolayer integrated on top of a lithographically defined metallic waveguide. We utilize the strong interaction between the surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) and excitons in the WSe2 to give a 73 % change in transmission through the device. We demonstrate control of the propagating SPPs using both optical and SPP pumps, realizing a 2D semiconductor nonlinear plasmonic modulator, with an ultrafast response time of 290 fs.
Project description:Surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) lasing requires population inversion, it is inefficient and possesses poor spectral properties. We develop an inversion-less concept for a quantum plasmonic waveguide that exploits unidirectional superradiant SPP (SSPP) emission of radiation to produce intense coherent surface plasmon beams. Our scheme includes a resonantly driven cold atomic medium in a lossless dielectric situated above an ultra-low loss negative index metamaterial (NIMM) layer. We propose generating unidirectional superradiant radiation of the plasmonic field within an atomic medium and a NIMM layer interface and achieve amplified SPPs by introducing phase-match between the superradiant SPP wave and coupled laser fields. We also establish a parametric resonance between the weak modulated plasmonic field and the collective oscillations of the atomic ensemble, thereby suppressing decoherence of the stably amplified directional polaritonic mode. Our method incorporates the quantum gain of the atomic medium to obtain sufficient conditions for coherent amplification of superradiant SPP waves, and we explore this method to quantum dynamics of the atomic medium being coupled with the weak polaritonic waves. Our waveguide configuration acts as a surface plasmon laser and quantum plasmonic transistor and opens prospects for designing controllable nano-scale lasers for quantum and nano-photonic applications.
Project description:We exploit the properties of surface electromagnetic waves propagating at the surface of finite one dimensional photonic crystals to improve the performance of optical biosensors with respect to the standard surface plasmon resonance approach. We demonstrate that the hydrogenated amorphous silicon nitride technology is a versatile platform for fabricating one dimensional photonic crystals with any desirable design and operating in a wide wavelength range, from the visible to the near infrared. We prepared sensors based on photonic crystals sustaining either guided modes or surface electromagnetic waves, also known as Bloch surface waves. We carried out for the first time a direct experimental comparison of their sensitivity and figure of merit with surface plasmon polaritons on metal layers, by making use of a commercial surface plasmon resonance instrument that was slightly adapted for the experiments. Our measurements demonstrate that the Bloch surface waves on silicon nitride photonic crystals outperform surface plasmon polaritons by a factor 1.3 in terms of figure of merit.
Project description:A bosonic condensate of exciton polaritons in a semiconductor microcavity is a macroscopic quantum state subject to pumping and decay. The fundamental nature of this driven-dissipative condensate is still under debate. Here, we gain an insight into spontaneous condensation by imaging long-lifetime exciton polaritons in a high-quality inorganic microcavity in a single-shot optical excitation regime, without averaging over multiple condensate realisations. We demonstrate that condensation is strongly influenced by an incoherent reservoir and that the reservoir depletion, the so-called spatial hole burning, is critical for the transition to the ground state. Condensates of photon-like polaritons exhibit strong shot-to-shot fluctuations and density filamentation due to the effective self-focusing associated with the reservoir depletion. In contrast, condensates of exciton-like polaritons display smoother spatial density distributions and are second-order coherent. Our observations show that the single-shot measurements offer a unique opportunity to study fundamental properties of non-equilibrium condensation in the presence of a reservoir.
Project description:Semiconductor devices are strong competitors in the race for the development of quantum computational systems. In this work, we interface two semiconductor building blocks of different dimensionalities with complementary properties: (1) a quantum dot hosting a single exciton and acting as a nearly ideal single-photon emitter and (2) a quantum well in a 2D microcavity sustaining polaritons, which are known for their strong interactions and unique hydrodynamic properties, including ultrafast real-time monitoring of their propagation and phase mapping. In the present experiment, we can thus observe how the injected single particles propagate and evolve inside the microcavity, giving rise to hydrodynamic features typical of macroscopic systems despite their genuine intrinsic quantum nature. In the presence of a structural defect, we observe the celebrated quantum interference of a single particle that produces fringes reminiscent of wave propagation. While this behavior could be theoretically expected, our imaging of such an interference pattern, together with a measurement of antibunching, constitutes the first demonstration of spatial mapping of the self-interference of a single quantum particle impinging on an obstacle.
Project description:Surface plasmon polaritons on (silver) nanowires are promising components for future photonic technologies. Here, we study near-field patterns on silver nanowires with a scattering-type scanning near-field optical microscope that enables the direct mapping of surface waves. We analyze the spatial pattern of the plasmon signatures for different excitation geometries and polarization and observe a plasmon wave pattern that is canted relative to the nanowire axis, which we show is due to a superposition of two different plasmon modes, as supported by electromagnetic simulations including the influence of the substrate. These findings yield new insights into the excitation and propagation of plasmon polaritons for applications in nanoplasmonic devices.
Project description:Surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) propagating at metal nanostructures play an important role in breaking the diffraction limit. Chemically synthesized single-crystalline metal nanoplates with atomically flat surfaces provide favorable features compared with traditional polycrystalline metal films. The excitation and propagation of leaky SPPs on micrometer sized (10-20 μm) and thin (30 nm) gold nanoplates are investigated utilizing leakage radiation microscopy. By varying polarization and excitation positions of incident light on apexes of nanoplates, wave-vector (including propagation constant and propagation direction) distributions of leaky SPPs in Fourier planes can be controlled, indicating tunable SPP propagation. These results hold promise for potential development of chemically synthesized single-crystalline metal nanoplates as plasmonic platforms in future applications.