Implementation of Hot Electrons in Hybrid Antenna-Graphene Structures
Nordlander, Peter J.
Master of Science
Graphene, a one-atom-thick sheet of hexagonally packed carbon atoms, is a novel material with high electron mobility due to its unique linear and gapless electronic band structure. Its broadband absorption and unusual doping properties, along with superb mechanical flexibility make graphene of promising application in optoeletronic devices such as solar cell, ultrafast photodetectors, and terahertz modulators. How- ever, the current performance of graphene-based devices is quite unacceptable owning to serious limitations by its inherently small absorption cross section and low quan- tum efficiency. Fortunately, nanoscale optical antennas, consisting of closely spaced, coupled metallic nanoparticles, have fascinating optical response since the collective oscillation of electrons in them, namely surface plasmons, can concentrate light into a subwavelength regime close to the antennas and enhance the corresponding field considerably. Given that optical antenna have been applied in various areas such as subwavelength optics, surface enhanced spectroscopies, and sensing, they are also able to assist graphene to harvest visible and near-infrared light with high efficiency. Moreover, the efficient production of hot electrons due to the decay of the surface plasmons can be further implemented to modulate the properties of graphene. Here we choose plasmonic oligomers to serve as optical antenna since they pos- sess tunable Fano resonances, consisting of a transparency window where scattering is strongly suppressed but absorption is greatly enhanced. By placing them in di- rect contact with graphene sheet, we find the internal quantum efficiency of hybrid antenna-graphene devices achieves up to 20%. Meanwhile, doping effect due to hot electron is also observed in this device, which can be used to optically tune the elec- tronic properties of graphene.