Short-range surface plasmonics: Localized electron emission dynamics from a 60-nm spot on an atomically flat single-crystalline gold surface

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Science Advances  12 Jul 2017:
Vol. 3, no. 7, e1700721
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1700721

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We experimentally and theoretically visualize the propagation of short-range surface plasmon polaritons using atomically flat single-crystalline gold platelets on silicon substrates. We study their excitation and subfemtosecond dynamics via normal-incidence two-photon photoemission electron microscopy. By milling a plasmonic disk and grating structure into a single-crystalline gold platelet, we observe nanofocusing of the short-range surface plasmon polariton. Localized two-photon ultrafast electron emission from a spot with a smallest dimension of 60 nm is observed. Our novel approach opens the door toward reproducible plasmonic nanofocusing devices, which do not degrade upon high light intensity or heating due to the atomically flat surface without any tips, protrusions, or holes. Our nanofoci could also be used as local emitters for ultrafast electron bunches in time-resolved electron microscopes.

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