Plasmonic nanoantennas facilitate the manipulation of light fields on deeply sub-diffraction-limited length scales, but high dissipative losses in metals make new approaches for an efficient energy transfer in extended on-chip integrated plasmonic circuits mandatory. We demonstrate in this article efficient photon transfer in discrete optoplasmonic molecules comprising gold nanoparticle (NP) dimer antennas located in the evanescent field of a 2 μm diameter polystyrene bead, which served as an optical microcavity (OM). The optoplasmonic molecules were generated through a guided self-assembly strategy in which the OMs were immobilized in binding sites generated by quartz (SiO2) or silicon posts that contained plasmonic nanoantennas on their tips. Control of the post height facilitated an accurate positioning of the plasmonic antennas into the evanescent field of the whispering gallery modes located in the equatorial plane of the OM. Cy3 and Cy5.5 dyes were tethered to the plasmonic antennas through oligonucleotide spacers to act as on-chip light sources. The intensity of Cy3 was found to be increased relative to that of Cy5.5 in the vicinity of the plasmonic antennas where strongly enhanced electric field intensity and optical density of states selectively increase the excitation and emission rates of Cy3 due to spectral overlap with the plasmon. The fluorescent dyes preferentially emitted into the OM, which efficiently trapped and recirculated the photons. We experimentally determined a relative photon transfer efficiency of 44% in non-optimized self-assembled optoplasmonic molecules in this proof-of-principle study.
Ahn, W., Hong, Y., Boriskina, S. V., & Reinhard, B. M. (2013). Demonstration of efficient on-chip photon transfer in self-assembled optoplasmonic networks. ACS Nano, 7(5), 4470–4478. https://doi.org/10.1021/nn401062b