Advanced Photonics Research (Mar 2024)

Plasmonic Nanocone Scanning Antenna: Fabrication and Optical Properties

  • Haritha Kambalathmana,
  • Assegid Mengistu Flatae,
  • Claudio Biagini,
  • Francesco Tantussi,
  • Francesco De Angelis,
  • Mario Agio

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 5, no. 3
pp. n/a – n/a


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Optical antennas are nanostructures that introduce unprecedented possibilities for light–matter interaction at the nanoscale. An appropriately tailored plasmonic antenna can enhance the total radiative decay rate and modify the angular radiation pattern of a single‐quantum emitter through controlled near‐field coupling. Despite their ability to surpass the fundamental diffraction limit and confine the electromagnetic field to a tiny mode volume, fabricating 3D sharp scanning nanoscale plasmonic structures with desired aspect ratio is yet an ambitious goal. The fabrication of nanocones by gold evaporation on commercial atomic force microscopy probes followed by a focused ion beam milling technique is presented. The method is versatile and allows the fabrication of nanocones with desired dimensions around 100 nm along with an aspect ratio of ≈1. Their optical properties are studied and it is shown how the variation in the refractive index of the dielectric substrate affects the localized surface plasmon resonance of the nanocones, the decay rate enhancement, and the quantum yield of an emitter relevant for fluorescence/Raman scanning experiments. Theoretical studies using finite‐difference time‐domain calculations have guided the fabrication process and are consistent with experimental results.