Manipulation of Energy Propagation, Redirection, and Dissipation by Tunable Plasmonic Nanostructures
Nordlander, Peter J.
Doctor of Philosophy
Plasmons, the collective electronic oscillations of metallic nanoparticles and nanostructures, are at the forefront of the development of nanoscale optics. Metallic nanostructures with their geometry-dependent optical resonances are a topic of intense current interest due to their ability to manipulate light in ways not possible with conventional optical materials. As optical frequency nanoantennas, reduced-symmetry plasmonic nanoparticles have light-scattering properties that depend strongly on geometry, orientation, and variations in dielectric environment. Particularly fascinating aspect of these systems is the recently realized possibility of creating optical frequency “magnetic plasmon” responses of comparable magnitude to the “electric plasmon” response. It is of our central interest to understand better the plasmonic system so as to manipulate the energy transport mechanism. With the much more advanced numerical calculations, and based on the Finite Element Method (FEM) and Finite-Difference Time-Domain (FDTD) method, we are now able to study various kinds of nanostructures for different interesting optical properties. With the help of FDTD, we show the geometry dependent dissipation rate in different nanosystems. We brought up a new damped harmonic oscillator model to account for the observed difference. We show that our new model better completes the full map of the energy dissipation mechanism, and the predicted outcome agreed very well with the FDTD calculations. Elliptical nanorings were investigated by applying both FEM and FDTD methods. The mulitiple plasmonic resonaces exhibited by elliptical nanorings and the well tunability of the nanosystem make elliptical nanorings very interesting. Different features can be realized by controlling the aspect ratios of the elliptical nanorings. We show another interesting nanostructures, light bending nanocup as well. Due to its unique light scattering properties, nanocup is a very promising candidate in solar cell applications. We studied more about its light redirection properties with the presence of a dielectric substrate and its sensitivity to the subtle geometry differences. Plasmonic heptamer has been shown to possess an intriguing Fano resonance due to the interference of its hybridized subradiant and super-radiant modes. Neighboring fused heptamers can support magnetic plasmons due to the generation of antiphase ring currents in the metallic nanoclusters. We use such artificial plasmonic molecules as basic elements to construct low-loss plasmonic waveguides and devices. The manipulation of magnetic plasmons in heptamer interconnects can further be expanded to more complex systems, for example, by integrating more optical paths to achieve multiple input and output plasmonic networks. With their compact dimensions, outstanding low-loss propagation characteristics, and range of functionalities, magnetic plasmon-based devices based on these structures should be key to the further development of high- performance energy transport components in informa- tion processing and data storage applications.
Plasmonics; Damping; Elliptical nanorings; Nanocup; Heptamer