Cold and Hot Spots: from Inhibition to Enhancement by Nanoscale Phase Tuning of Optical Nanoantennas
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Optical nanoantennas are well-known for the confinement of light into nanoscale hot spots, suitable for emission enhancement and sensing applications. Here, we show how control of the antenna dimensions allows tuning the local optical phase, hence turning a hot spot into a cold spot. We manipulate the local intensity exploiting the interference between driving and scattered field. Using single molecules as local detectors, we experimentally show the creation of subwavelength pockets with full suppression of the driving field. Remarkably, together with the cold excitation spots, we observe inhibition of emission by the phase-tuned nanoantenna. The fluorescence lifetime of a molecule scanned in such volumes becomes longer, showing slow down of spontaneous decay. In conclusion, the spatial phase of a nanoantenna is a powerful knob to tune between enhancement and inhibition in a 3-dimensional subwavelength volume.
CitationBlascetta, N.P. [et al.]. Cold and Hot Spots: from Inhibition to Enhancement by Nanoscale Phase Tuning of Optical Nanoantennas. "Nano Letters", 17 Agost 2020,