• Hoffmann, B.; Vassant, S.; Chen, X.-W.; Götzinger, S.; Sandoghdar, V.; Christiansen, S.: Fabrication and characterization of plasmonic nanocone antennas for strong spontaneous emission enhancement. Nanotechnology 26 (2014), p. 404001/1-8


Plasmonic antennas are attractive nanostructures for a large variety of studies ranging from fundamental aspects of light–matter interactions at the nanoscale to industry-relevant applications such as ultrasensitive sensing, enhanced absorption in solar cells or solar fuel generation. A particularly interesting feature of these antennas is that they can enhance the fluorescence properties of emitters. Theoretical calculations have shown that nanocone antennas provide ideal results, but a high degree of manufacturing precision and control is needed to reach optimal performance. In this study, we report on the fabrication of nanocones with base diameters and heights in the range of 100 nm with variable aspect ratios using focused ion beam milling of sputtered nano-crystalline gold layers. The controlled fabrication process allows us to obtain cones with tailored plasmon resonances. The measured plasmon spectra show very good agreement with finite-difference time-domain calculations. Theoretical investigations predict that these nanocones can enhance the spontaneous emission rate of a quantum emitter by several hundred times while keeping its quantum efficiency above 60%.