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This paper reviews recent work on device applications of optical antennas. Localized surface plasmon resonances of gold nanorod antennas resting on a silica glass substrate were modeled by finite difference time-domain simulations. A single gold nanorod of length 150 or 550 nm resonantly generates enhanced near fields when illuminated with light of 830 nm wavelength. A pair of these nanorods gives higher field enhancements due to capacitive coupling between them. Bowtie antennas that consist of a pair of triangular gold particles offer the best near-field confinement and enhancement. Plasmonic laser antennas based on the coupled nanorod antenna design were fabricated by focused ion beam lithography on the facet of a semiconductor laser diode operating at a wavelength of 830 nm. An optical spot size of few tens of nanometers was measured by apertureless near-field optical microscope. We have extended our work on plasmonic antenna into mid-infrared (mid-IR) wavelengths by implementing resonant nanorod and bowtie antennas on the facets of various quantum cascade lasers. Experiments show that this mid-IR device can provide an optical intensity confinement 70 times higher than that would be achieved with diffraction limited optics. Near-field intensities ~ 1 GW/cm2 were estimated for both near-infrared and mid-IR plasmonic antennas. A fiber device that takes advantage of plasmonic resonances of gold nanorod arrays providing a high density of optical ldquohot spotsrdquo is proposed. Results of a systematic theoretical and experimental study of the reflection spectra of these arrays fabricated on a silica glass substrate are also presented. The family of these proof-of-concept plasmonic devices that we present here can be potentially useful in many applications including near-field optical microscopes, high-density optical data storage, surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy, heat-assisted magnetic recording, and spatially resolved absorption spectroscopy.
Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics, IEEE Journal of (Volume:14 , Issue: 6 )
Date of Publication: Nov.-dec. 2008