Surface roughness effects on aluminium-based ultraviolet plasmonic nanolasers.
ABSTRACT: We systematically investigate the effects of surface roughness on the characteristics of ultraviolet zinc oxide plasmonic nanolasers fabricated on aluminium films with two different degrees of surface roughness. We demonstrate that the effective dielectric functions of aluminium interfaces with distinct roughness can be analysed from reflectivity measurements. By considering the scattering losses, including Rayleigh scattering, electron scattering, and grain boundary scattering, we adopt the modified Drude-Lorentz model to describe the scattering effect caused by surface roughness and obtain the effective dielectric functions of different Al samples. The sample with higher surface roughness induces more electron scattering and light scattering for SPP modes, leading to a higher threshold gain for the plasmonic nanolaser. By considering the pumping efficiency, our theoretical analysis shows that diminishing the detrimental optical losses caused by the roughness of the metallic interface could effectively lower (~33.1%) the pumping threshold of the plasmonic nanolasers, which is consistent with the experimental results.
Project description:Significant advances have been made in the development of plasmonic devices in the past decade. Plasmonic nanolasers, which display interesting properties, have come to play an important role in biomedicine, chemical sensors, information technology, and optical integrated circuits. However, nanoscale plasmonic devices, particularly those operating in the ultraviolet regime, are extremely sensitive to the metal and interface quality. Thus, these factors have a significant bearing on the development of ultraviolet plasmonic devices. Here, by addressing these material-related issues, we demonstrate a low-threshold, high-characteristic-temperature metal-oxide-semiconductor ZnO nanolaser that operates at room temperature. The template for the ZnO nanowires consists of a flat single-crystalline Al film grown by molecular beam epitaxy and an ultrasmooth Al2O3 spacer layer synthesized by atomic layer deposition. By effectively reducing the surface plasmon scattering and metal intrinsic absorption losses, the high-quality metal film and the sharp interfaces formed between the layers boost the device performance. This work should pave the way for the use of ultraviolet plasmonic nanolasers and related devices in a wider range of applications.
Project description:Spasers and nanolasers produce a significant amount of heat, which impedes their realizability. We numerically investigate the farfield emission and thermal load in optically pumped spasers with a coupled electromagnetic/thermal model, including additional temperature discontinuities due to interfacial Kapitza resistance. This approach allows to explore multiple combinations of constitutive materials suitable for robust manufacturable spasers. Three main channels of heat generation are quantified: metal absorption at pumping and spasing wavelengths and nonradiative relaxations in the gain material. Out-radiated power becomes comparable with absorption for spasers of realistic dimensions. Two optimized spaser configurations emitting light near 520 nm are compared in detail: a prolate metal-core/gain-shell and an oblate gain-core/metal-shell. The metal-shell design, which with the increasing size transforms into a metal-clad nanolaser, achieves an internal light-extraction efficiency of 22.4%, and stably operates up to several hundred picoseconds, an order of magnitude longer than the metal-core spaser.
Project description:Nanophotonics is a rapidly developing field of research with many suggestions for a design of nanoantennas, sensors and miniature metadevices. Despite many proposals for passive nanophotonic devices, the efficient coupling of light to nanoscale optical structures remains a major challenge. In this article, we propose a nanoscale laser based on a tightly confined anapole mode. By harnessing the non-radiating nature of the anapole state, we show how to engineer nanolasers based on InGaAs nanodisks as on-chip sources with unique optical properties. Leveraging on the near-field character of anapole modes, we demonstrate a spontaneously polarized nanolaser able to couple light into waveguide channels with four orders of magnitude intensity than classical nanolasers, as well as the generation of ultrafast (of 100?fs) pulses via spontaneous mode locking of several anapoles. Anapole nanolasers offer an attractive platform for monolithically integrated, silicon photonics sources for advanced and efficient nanoscale circuitry.
Project description:ZnO nanowire-based surface plasmon polariton (SPP) nanolasers with metal-insulator-semiconductor hierarchical nanostructures have emerged as potential candidates for integrated photonic applications. In the present study, we demonstrated an SPP nanolaser consisting of ZnO nanowires coupled with a single-crystalline aluminum (Al) film and a WO3 dielectric interlayer. High-quality ZnO nanowires were prepared using a vapor phase transport and condensation deposition process via catalyzed growth. Subsequently, prepared ZnO nanowires were transferred onto a single-crystalline Al film grown by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE). Meanwhile, a WO3 dielectric interlayer was deposited between the ZnO nanowires and Al film, via e-beam technique, to prevent the optical loss from dominating the metallic region. The metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) structured SPP laser, with an optimal WO3 insulating layer thickness of 3.6 nm, demonstrated an ultra-low threshold laser operation (lasing threshold of 0.79 MW cm-2). This threshold value was nearly eight times lower than that previously reported in similar ZnO/Al2O3/Al plasmonic lasers, which were ?2.4 and ?3 times suppressed compared to the SPP laser, with WO3 insulating layer thicknesses of 5 nm and 8 nm, respectively. Such suppression of the lasing threshold is attributed to the WO3 insulating layer, which mediated the strong confinement of the optical field in the subwavelength regime.
Project description:Plasmonic nanolasers are a new class of amplifiers that generate coherent light well below the diffraction barrier bringing fundamentally new capabilities to biochemical sensing, super-resolution imaging, and on-chip optical communication. However, a debate about whether metals can enhance the performance of lasers has persisted due to the unavoidable fact that metallic absorption intrinsically scales with field confinement. Here, we report plasmonic nanolasers with extremely low thresholds on the order of 10?kW?cm-2 at room temperature, which are comparable to those found in modern laser diodes. More importantly, we find unusual scaling laws allowing plasmonic lasers to be more compact and faster with lower threshold and power consumption than photonic lasers when the cavity size approaches or surpasses the diffraction limit. This clarifies the long-standing debate over the viability of metal confinement and feedback strategies in laser technology and identifies situations where plasmonic lasers can have clear practical advantage.
Project description:It is crucial to fabricate nano photonic devices such as nanolasers in order to meet the requirements for the integration of photonic and electronic circuits on the nanometre scale. The great difficulty is to break down a bottleneck as a result of the diffraction limit of light. Nanolasers on a subwavelength scale could potentially be fabricated based on the principle of surface plasmon amplification by stimulated emission of radiation (SPASER). However, a number of technological challenges will have to be overcome in order to achieve a SPASER with a low threshold, allowing for a continuous wave (cw) operation at room temperature. We report a nano-SPASER with a record low threshold at room temperature, optically pumped by using a cw diode laser. Our nano-SPASER consists of a single InGaN/GaN nanorod on a thin SiO2 spacer layer on a silver film. The nanorod containing InGaN/GaN multi-quantum-wells is fabricated by means of a cost-effective post-growth fabrication approach. The geometry of the nanorod/dielectric spacer/plasmonic metal composite allows us to have accurate control of the surface plasmon coupling, offering an opportunity to determine the optimal thickness of the dielectric spacer. This approach will open up a route for further fabrication of electrically injected plasmonic lasers.
Project description:Surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) are viable candidates for integration into on-chip nano-circuitry that allow access to high data bandwidths and low energy consumption. Metal-insulator-metal tunneling junctions (MIM-TJs) have recently been shown to excite and detect SPPs electrically; however, experimentally measured efficiencies and outcoupling mechanisms are not fully understood. It is shown that the MIM-TJ cavity SPP mode (MIM-SPP) can outcouple via three pathways to i) photons via scattering of MIM-SPP at the MIM-TJ interfaces, ii) SPPs at the metal-dielectric interfaces (bound-SPPs) by mode coupling through the electrodes, and iii) photons and bound-SPP modes by mode coupling at the MIM-TJ edges. It is also shown that, for Al-AlO x -Cr-Au MIM-TJs on glass, the MIM-SPP mode outcouples efficiently to bound-SPPs through either electrode (pathway 2); this outcoupling pathway can be selectively turned on and off by changing the respective electrode thickness. Outcoupling at the MIM-TJ edges (pathway 3) is efficient and sensitive to the edge topography, whereas most light emission originates from roughness-induced scattering of the MIM-SPP mode (pathway 1). Using an arbitrary roughness profile, it is demonstrated that various roughness facets can raise MIM-SPP outcoupling efficiencies to 0.62%. These results pave the way for understanding the topographical parameters needed to develop CMOS-compatible plasmonic circuitry elements.
Project description:Metal-dielectric multilayers are versatile optical devices that can be designed to combine the visible transmittance of dielectrics with the electronic properties of metals for plasmonic and meta-material applications. However, their performances are limited by an interfacial optical absorption often attributed entirely to the metal surface roughness. Here, we show that during deposition of AlN/Ag/AlN and SiNx/Ag/SiNx multilayers, significant diffusion of Ag into the top dielectric layer form Ag nanoparticles which excite localized surface plasmon resonances that are primarily responsible for the interfacial optical absorption. Based on experimental depth profiles, we model the multilayer's silver concentration profile as two complementary error functions: one for the diffused Ag nanoparticles and one for the interface roughness. We apply the Maxwell-Garnett and Bruggeman effective medium theories to determine that diffusion characteristics dominate the experimental absorption spectra. The newfound metal nanoparticle diffusion phenomenon effectively creates a hybrid structure characteristic of both metal-dielectric multilayer and metal-dielectric composite.
Project description:We theoretically study the gain-assisted double plasmonic resonances to enhance second harmonic generation (SHG) in a centrosymmetric multilayered silver-dielectric-gold-dielectric (SDGD) nanostructure. Introducing gain media into the dielectric layers can not only compensate the dissipation and lead to giant amplification of surface plasmons (SPs), but also excite local quadrupolar plasmon which can boost SHG by mode matching. Specifically, as the quadrupolar mode dominates SHG in our nanostructure, under the mode matching condition, the intensity of second harmonic near-field can be enhanced by 4.43?×?102 and 1.21?×?105 times when the super-resonance is matched only at the second harmonic (SH) frequency or fundamental frequency, respectively. Moreover, the intensity of SHG near-field is enhanced by as high as 6.55?×?107 times when the nanostructure is tuned to double super-resonances at both fundamental and SH frequencies. The findings in this work have potential applications in the design of nanosensors and nanolasers.
Project description:To guide the design of plasmonic solar cells, theoretical investigation of core (metal)-shell (dielectric) nanoparticles for light absorption enhancement in thin film Si solar cells is performed. In contrast to the reported simulations and experimental results that rear-located surface plasmon on bare metallic nanoparticles is preferred, the core-shell nanoparticles demonstrate better performance when surface plasmon is located in front of a solar cell. This has been attributed to the enhanced forward scattering with vanishing backward scattering preserved over a wide spectral range in core-shell nanoparticles. This work provides a concept to achieve enhanced forward scattering with weakened backward scattering in plasmonic thin film solar cells.