Tracking optical and electronic behaviour of quantum contacts in sub-nanometre plasmonic cavities

A. Sanders, R. W. Bowman, J. J. Baumberg

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Plasmonic interactions between two metallic tips are dynamically studied in a supercontinuum dark-field microscope and the transition between coupled and charge-transfer plasmons is directly observed in the sub-nm regime. Simultaneous measurement of the dc current, applied force, and optical scattering as the tips come together is used to determine the effects of conductive pathways within the plasmonic nano-gap. Critical conductances are experimentally identified for the first time, determining the points at which quantum tunnelling and conductive charge transport begin to influence plasmon coupling. These results advance our understanding of the relationship between conduction and plasmonics, and the fundamental quantum mechanical behaviours of plasmonic coupling.
Original languageEnglish
Article number32988
Number of pages7
JournalScientific Reports
Early online date9 Sep 2016
Publication statusPublished - 9 Sep 2016

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