Excitation of propagating short-range surface plasmons in a nanowire-enhanced step index fiber – Nano Letters

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Our paper “Hybrid-Mode-Assisted Long-Distance Excitation of Short-Range Surface Plasmons in a Nanotip-Enhanced Step-Index Fiber” was published today. We propose a means of exciting short-range surface plasmon polaritons at the endface of a step-index fiber which contains a gold nanowire in its core. The radially polarized hybrid dielectric mode of the gold-filled section has low loss, with some field on the nanowire surface – so that after the light reaches the fiber endface, the energy propagates along the tip to nanoscale apex via the short-range plasmonic mode. We fabricated the structure and looked in detail at the properties of the scattered/transmitted light for different input polarizations. We found that the light scattered from the tip is most intense when the input is radially polarized, and that this light is polarized along the direction of the fiber axis, confirming the feasibility of this excitation scheme. This is a route to improving the capabilities of deeply-subwavelength near-field probes in a convenient fiber platform.

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