Surface Plasmon Resonators and Ed Purcell: Enhancing Light Emission a Thousand-fold
Speaker: Kasey Russell, Harvard University
Department: Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
Location: Engineering Quadrangle J223
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 12, 2013, 12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Spontaneous emission of light is initiated by a perturbation from virtual photons. Structures such as resonant cavities and optical antennas can be used to enhance this perturbation, thereby increasing the emission rate. Although this effect has been known since the 1940s, it is difficult to exploit: the size of enhancements achieved has been typically less than 10. Recently, we have achieved 1000-fold enhancements by utilizing coupled photon-electron states at the surface of metals. Devices such as these offer new routes to developing high-brightness, nanoscale light sources and detectors for quantum optics, on-chip optical data transmission, and integrated optical systems.