Research Article


2014, 7(9): 1344–1354


Plasmonic mode mixing in nanoparticle dimers with nm-separations via substrate-mediated coupling

Jesse Theiss, Mehmet Aykol, Prathamesh Pavaskar, and Stephen B. Cronin (*)

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Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089, USA

Keywords: plasmonics, fano interference, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), nanogap dark-field spectroscopy
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We fabricate arrays of metallic nanoparticle dimers with nanometer separation using electron beam lithography and angle evaporation. These “nanogap” dimers are fabricated on thin silicon nitride membranes to enable high resolution transmission electron microscope imaging of the specific nanoparticle geometries. Plasmonic resonances of the pairs are characterized by dark-field scattering micro-spectroscopy, which enables the optical scattering from individual nano- structures to be measured by using a spatially-filtered light source to illuminate a small area. Scattering spectra from individual dimers are correlated with transmis- sion electron microscope images and finite-difference time-domain simulations of their electromagnetic response, with excellent agreement between simulation and experiment. We observe a strong polarization dependence with two dominant scattering peaks in spectra taken with the polarization aligned along the dimer axis. This response arises from a unique Fano interference, in which the bright hybridized modes of an asymmetric dimer are able to couple to the dark higher- order hybridized modes through substrate-mediated coupling. The presence of this interference is strongly dependent on the nanoparticle geometry that defines the plasmon energy profile but also on the intense localization of charge at the dielectric surface in the nanogap region for separations smaller than 6 nm.
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Plasmonic mode mixing in nanoparticle dimers with nm-separations via substrate-mediated coupling . Nano Res. 2014, 7(9): 1344–1354

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