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Nano Lett. 2013 Jun 12;13(6):2687-91. doi: 10.1021/nl400844a. Epub 2013 May 1.

Reaching the theoretical resonance quality factor limit in coaxial plasmonic nanoresonators fabricated by helium ion lithography.

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Molecular Foundry, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.


Optical antenna structures have revolutionized the field of nano-optics by confining light to deep subwavelength dimensions for spectroscopy and sensing. In this work, we fabricated coaxial optical antennae with sub-10-nanometer critical dimensions using helium ion lithography (HIL). Wavelength dependent transmission measurements were used to determine the wavelength-dependent optical response. The quality factor of 11 achieved with our HIL fabricated structures matched the theoretically predicted quality factor for the idealized flawless gold resonators calculated by finite-difference time-domain (FDTD). For comparison, coaxial antennae with 30 nm critical dimensions were fabricated using both HIL and the more common Ga focus ion beam lithography (Ga-FIB). The quality factor of the Ga-FIB resonators was 60% of the ideal HIL results for the same design geometry due to limitations in the Ga-FIB fabrication process.


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