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Nano Lett. 2018 Feb 14;18(2):1373-1378. doi: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b05085. Epub 2018 Jan 19.

Quantum Control of Graphene Plasmon Excitation and Propagation at Heaviside Potential Steps.

Wang D1,2, Fan X1,2, Li X3, Dai S4, Wei L1,2, Qin W1, Wu F1,2, Zhang H1,2, Qi Z5, Zeng C1,2, Zhang Z1, Hou J1.

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International Center for Quantum Design of Functional Materials (ICQD), Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at the Microscale, and Synergetic Innovation Center of Quantum Information and Quantum Physics, University of Science and Technology of China , Hefei, Anhui 230026, China.
CAS Key Laboratory of Strongly-Coupled Quantum Matter Physics and Department of Physics, University of Science and Technology of China , Hefei, Anhui 230026, China.
Institute for Advanced Study, Shenzhen University , Shenzhen, Guangdong 518060, China.
Department of Physics, University of California, San Diego , La Jolla, California 92093, United States.
National Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory, University of Science and Technology of China , Hefei, Anhui 230029, China.


Quantum mechanical effects of single particles can affect the collective plasmon behaviors substantially. In this work, the quantum control of plasmon excitation and propagation in graphene is demonstrated by adopting the variable quantum transmission of carriers at Heaviside potential steps as a tuning knob. First, the plasmon reflection is revealed to be tunable within a broad range by varying the ratio γ between the carrier energy and potential height, which originates from the quantum mechanical effect of carrier propagation at potential steps. Moreover, the plasmon excitation by free-space photos can be regulated from fully suppressed to fully launched in graphene potential wells also through adjusting γ, which defines the degrees of the carrier confinement in the potential wells. These discovered quantum plasmon effects offer a unified quantum-mechanical solution toward ultimate control of both plasmon launching and propagating, which are indispensable processes in building plasmon circuitry.


Quantum plasmon; graphene; quantum transmission; scanning near-field optical microscopy

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