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Nanotechnology. 2014 Mar 28;25(12):125202. doi: 10.1088/0957-4484/25/12/125202. Epub 2014 Feb 27.

Plasmon scattering from holes: from single hole scattering to Young's experiment.

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Institut des Sciences Moléculaires d'Orsay (ISMO), CNRS Université Paris-Sud, Orsay, France.


In this paper, the scattering of surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) into photons at holes is investigated. A local, electrically excited source of SPPs using a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) produces an outgoing circular plasmon wave on a thick (200 nm) gold film on glass containing holes of 250, 500 and 1000 nm diameter. Fourier plane images of the photons from hole-scattered plasmons show that the larger the hole diameter, the more directional the scattered radiation. These results are confirmed by a model where the hole is considered as a distribution of horizontal dipoles whose relative amplitudes, directions, and phases depend linearly on the local SPP electric field. An SPP-Young's experiment is also performed, where the STM-excited SPP wave is incident on a pair of 1 μm diameter holes in the thick gold film. The visibility of the resulting fringes in the Fourier plane is analyzed to show that the polarization of the electric field is maintained when SPPs scatter into photons. From this SPP-Young's experiment, an upper bound of ≈200 nm for the radius of this STM-excited source of surface plasmon polaritons is determined.

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