Plasmonic Cavities for Enhanced Spotaneous Emission

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Plasmonic Cavities for Enhanced Spotaneous Emission

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Title: Plasmonic Cavities for Enhanced Spotaneous Emission
Author: Liu, Tsung-li
Citation: Liu, Tsung-li. 2013. Plasmonic Cavities for Enhanced Spotaneous Emission. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University.
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Abstract: The modification of spontaneous emission, i.e. the Purcell effect, with optical cavities has been highly studied over the past 20 years as one of the most important goals for cavity quantum electrodynamics (cQED). The recent development of using surface plasmon resonances to concentrate optical field into sub-wavelength scale further extended cQED research of into a new regime. However, although metallic reflectors are used in some of the earliest demonstrations of cQED, the use of metals is not preferable in high Q optical cavities due to the lossy nature of metals. The presence of metals near an optical emitter also strongly alters its radiation dynamics. As a result, the development of plasmonic cavities brings not only new opportunities but also new problems and challenges. In this thesis we describe four different plasmonic cavity designs along with optical simulations and measurements on them to demonstrate: large spontaneous emission enhancement, controlled mode tuning, and control of the plasmonic band-gap and resonances of high-Q plasmonic cavities for coupling to specific emitters. We hope that our work can guide and inspire researchers who are moving from traditional cavity designs to novel plasmonic devices, helping them to establish design concepts, fabrication criteria, and baselines for characterizing these devices.
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