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Open AccessArticle

Emission Enhancement in a Plasmonic Waveguide at Cut-Off

by Andrea Alù 1,* and Nader Engheta 2
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station C0803, Austin, TX 78712, USA
Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, 200 South 33rd St., Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2011, 4(1), 141-152;
Received: 29 November 2010 / Revised: 20 December 2010 / Accepted: 21 December 2010 / Published: 4 January 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Next Wave of Metamaterials)
Enhancement of molecular emission is usually obtained by coupling small optical emitters with external resonant structures and systems, as first established by Purcell several decades ago, and verified in several recent investigations using molecules or quantum dots coupled with plasmonic nanoantennas. Here we theoretically investigate in detail a different mechanism for emission enhancement, based on our recent idea of a plasmonic nanolauncher [Phys. Rev. Lett. 2009, 103, 043902], i.e., a metamaterial-inspired ultranarrow waveguide channel operating near its cut-off frequency. Such system is not necessarily at resonance, but its peculiar operation may provide enhanced emission over a relatively broad physical area, which may allow enhancement of emission independent of the position of an individual or of a group of molecules along such plasmonic channel, and the possibility to bend and route the emitted energy with large flexibility. We present here extensive theoretical and numerical results that confirm this intuition and may envision a novel method for molecular emission enhancement at the nanoscale, with more flexibility than the conventional Purcell resonance techniques. View Full-Text
Keywords: plasmonics; metamaterials; molecular emission plasmonics; metamaterials; molecular emission
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Alù, A.; Engheta, N. Emission Enhancement in a Plasmonic Waveguide at Cut-Off. Materials 2011, 4, 141-152.

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