Abstract

We study the nature of fluorescence scattering by a radiating fluorophore placed near a metal nanoparticle with the finite-difference time-domain method. Angle-resolved light-scattering distributions are contrasted with those that result when ordinary plane waves are scattered by the nanoparticle. For certain sized nanoparticles and fluorophore dipoles oriented parallel to the metal surface, we find that the highest scattered fluorescence emission is directed back toward the fluorophore, which is very different from plane-wave scattering. The largest enhancements of far-field radiation are found when the dipole is oriented normal to the surface. We also examined the effect of the fluorophore on the near field around the particle. The fields can be enhanced or quenched compared to the isolated fluorophore and exhibit strong dependence on fluorophore orientation, as well as interesting spatial variations around the nanoparticle.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

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