Optical Characterization of Plasmonic Nanostructures: Near-Field Imaging of the Magnetic Field of Light
This thesis focuses on a means of obtaining, for the first time, full electromagnetic imaging of photonic nanostructures. The author also develops a unique practical simulation framework which is used to confirm the results.
The development of innovative photonic devices and metamaterials with tailor-made functionalities depends critically on our capability to characterize them and understand the underlying light-matter interactions. Thus, imaging all components of the electromagnetic light field at nanoscale resolution is of paramount importance in this area. This challenge is answered by demonstrating experimentally that a hollow-pyramid aperture probe SNOM can directly image the horizontal magnetic field of light in simple plasmonic antennas – rod, disk and ring. These results are confirmed by numerical simulations, showing that the probe can be approximated, to first order, by a magnetic point-dipole source. This approximation substantially reduces the simulation time and complexity and facilitates the otherwise controversial interpretation of near-field images. The validated technique is used to study complex plasmonic antennas and to explore new opportunities for their engineering and characterization.
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No preview available - 2018