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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 20, Iss. 12 — Jun. 4, 2012
  • pp: 12866–12876

Plasmon nanofocusing in a dielectric hemisphere covered in tapered metal film

Daniel R. Mason, Dmitri K. Gramotnev, and Kwang S. Kim  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 20, Issue 12, pp. 12866-12876 (2012)

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We propose and analyze a new type of mechanically robust optical nanofocusing probe with minimized external environmental interference. The probe consists of a dielectric optical fiber terminated by a dielectric hemisphere – both covered in thin gold film whose thickness is reduced (tapered) along the surface of the hemisphere toward its tip. Thus the proposed probe combines the advantages of the diffraction-limited focusing due to annular propagation of the plasmon with its nanofocusing by a tapered metal wedge (i.e. a metal film with reducing local thickness). The numerical finite-element analysis demonstrates strongly subwavelength resolution of the described structure with the achievable size of the focal spot of ~20 nm with up to ~150 times enhancement of the local electric field intensity. Detailed physical interpretations of the obtained results are presented and possible application as a new type of SNOM probe for subwavelength imaging, spectroscopy and sensing are also discussed.

© 2012 OSA

OCIS Codes
(180.5810) Microscopy : Scanning microscopy
(240.6680) Optics at surfaces : Surface plasmons
(250.5403) Optoelectronics : Plasmonics
(310.6628) Thin films : Subwavelength structures, nanostructures

ToC Category:
Optics at Surfaces

Original Manuscript: March 23, 2012
Revised Manuscript: May 18, 2012
Manuscript Accepted: May 20, 2012
Published: May 23, 2012

Daniel R. Mason, Dmitri K. Gramotnev, and Kwang S. Kim, "Plasmon nanofocusing in a dielectric hemisphere covered in tapered metal film," Opt. Express 20, 12866-12876 (2012)

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