Abstract

The emission of light by sources in close proximity to a thin metallic film is dominated by surface plasmon-polariton modes supported by that film. We explore the nature of the modes and examine how the energy lost to such modes can be recovered. Both cross-coupled and coupled SPPs are presented as a means of transferring energy across a thin metal film. These modes are then scattered and thereby coupled to light by a wavelength scale grating type microstructure. We show that the photoluminescence emission from a structure containing a microstructured thin metal film that supports coupled SPPs is over 50 times greater than that from a similar planar structure. Similar strong photoluminescence emission is also exhibited by a sample that contains a planar metal film coated with a microstructured dielectric overlayer.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

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References

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Adv. Mater.

P. A. Hobson, S. Wedge, J. A. E. Wasey, I. Sage and W.L. Barnes, ???Surface plasmon mediated emission from organic light-emitting diodes,??? Adv. Mater. 14, 1393-1396 (2002).
[CrossRef]

Appl. Phys. Lett.

L. H. Smith, J. A. E. Wasey, and W. L. Barnes, "The light out-coupling efficiency of top emitting organic light-emitting diodes," Appl. Phys. Lett. 84, 2986-2988 (2004).
[CrossRef]

N. E. Hecker, R. A. Hopfel, N. Sawaki, T. Maier, and G. Strasser, "Surface plasmon enhanced photoluminescence from a single quantum well," Appl. Phys. Lett. 75, 1577-1579 (1999).
[CrossRef]

A. Köck, E. Gornik, M. Hauser, and K. Beinstingl, "Strongly directional emission from AlGaAs/GaAs light emitting diodes," Appl. Phys. Lett. 57, 2327-2329 (1990).
[CrossRef]

D. K. Gifford and D. G. Hall, ???Extraordinary transmission of organic photoluminescence through an otherwise opaque metal layer via surface plasmon cross coupling,??? Appl. Phys. Lett. 80, 3679-3681 (2002)
[CrossRef]

P. T. Worthing and W. L. Barnes, "Efficient coupling of surface plasmon-polaritons to radiation using a bigrating," Appl. Phys. Lett. 79, 3035-3037 (2001).
[CrossRef]

J. M. Lupton, B. J. Matterson, I. D. W. Samuel, M. J. Jory, and W. L. Barnes, ???Bragg scattering from periodically microstructured light emitting diodes,??? Appl. Phys. Lett. 77, 3340-3342 (2000).
[CrossRef]

J. R. Lawrence, P. Andrew, M. Buck, W. L. Barnes, G. A. Turnbull and I. D. W. Samuel, ???Optical properties of a light-emitting polymer directly patterned by soft lithography,??? Appl. Phys. Lett. 81, 1955-1957 (2002)
[CrossRef]

J. Lightwave Technol.

J. Mod Opt.

W. L. Barnes, ???Fluorescence near interfaces: the role of photonic mode density,??? J. Mod Opt. 45, 661 ??? 699 (1998)
[CrossRef]

J. Mod. Opt.

R. Windisch, S. Schoberth, S. Meinischmidt, P. Kiesel, A. Knobloch, P. Heremans, B. Dutta, G. Borghs, and G. H. Dohler, ???Light propagation through textured surfaces,??? J. Mod. Opt. 1, 512-516 (1999)

P. T. Worthing and W. L. Barnes, "Coupling efficiency of surface plasmon-polaritons to radiation using a corrugated surface angular dependence," J. Mod. Opt. 49, 1453-1462 (2002).
[CrossRef]

Nature

T. W. Ebbesen, H. J. Lezec, H. F. Ghaemi, T. Thio, and P. A. Wolff, ???Extraordinary optical transmission through sub-wavelength hole arrays,??? Nature, 391, 667-669 (1998).
[CrossRef]

Opt. Express

Opt. Lett.

Phys. Rev. B

R. M. Amos and W. L. Barnes, ???Modification of the spontaneous emission rate of Eu3+ ions close to a thin metal mirror,??? Phys. Rev. B 55, 7249-7254 (1997)
[CrossRef]

S. Wedge, I. R. Hooper, I. Sage and W. L. Barnes, ???Light emission through a corrugated metal film: the role of cross-coupled surface plasmon-polaritons,??? Phys. Rev. B (to be published) (2004)

I. R. Hooper, J. R. Sambles, ???Surface plasmon-polariton on thin-slab metal gratings,??? Phys. Rev. B 67, 2354041-2354046 (2003).
[CrossRef]

Phys. Rev. Lett.

R. W. Gruhlke, W. R. Holland, and D. G. Hall, ???Surface-plasmon cross coupling in molecular fluorescence near a corrugated thin metal film,??? Phys. Rev. Lett. 56, 2838-2841 (1986).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

D. Sarid, ???Long-range surface-plasma waves on very thin metal films,??? Phys. Rev. Lett. 47, 1927-1930 (1981).
[CrossRef]

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Figures (7)

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.

(a). Schematic representation of a dispersion map for a thin metal film bordered on one side by an organic light-emitting material and on the other side by air. The shaded region labelled “air light-cone” represents the frequencies and wavevectors accessible to light propagating in air. Note, the in-plane wavevector range from -kg/2 to kg/2 corresponds to the first Brillouin zone. (b). A schematic representation of a dispersion map for a corrugated thin metal film bordered on one side by an organic light-emitting material and on the other side by air. The area enclosed within the dashed lines represents the range of frequencies and wavevectors presented in Figure 5. (Note that for clarity the horizontal scale used in Fig. 1(b) is not the same as Fig. 1(a.)

Fig. 2.
Fig. 2.

Calculated power dissipation spectrum on a logarithmic scale for an emitter located in the light-emitting layer at a distance of 20 nm from the metal surface. The large peak at a normalized in-plane wavevector of ~1.7 represents power being lost to the metal/organic SPP (SPP2), the inset is an expanded plot (linear scale) of the feature associated with the metal/air SPP (SPP1).

Fig. 3.
Fig. 3.

Schematic representations of the experimental structures used in this study. (a) A 60 nm thick evaporated Alq3 layer coated with a 55 nm thick planar silver film. (b) A 60 nm thick evaporated Alq3 layer coated with a microstructured (λg =338 nm) 55 nm thick silver film. (c) A 43 nm thick microstructured (λg =338 nm) silver film bounded on one side by a 160 nm thick spun Alq3 film and on the other by a dielectric overlayer (22-tric). (d) A 55 nm thick planar silver film bounded on one side by a 160 nm spun Alq3 layer and on the other by a ~100 nm thick microstructured (λg =485 mn) photoresist overlayer.

Fig. 4.
Fig. 4.

TM polarized photoluminescence emission spectra measured through the metal film from each of the structures shown in Figure 3. Each spectrum was measured at a polar emission angle θ of 10°. Note each spectrum has been normalized with respect to the emission spectrum obtained from the structure shown in Fig. 3a. This normalization was achieved by fitting the spectra obtained from the 3 microstructured samples to the spectrum obtain from the planar structure over a wavelength range from 400nm to 480 nm.

Fig. 5.
Fig. 5.

Dispersion maps of the TM polarized photoluminescence emission obtained from the structures shown in (a) Fig. 3b, (b) Fig. 3c and (c) Fig. 3d. Light regions indicate areas of strong emission. Note, in Fig. 5a, in order to see the modal features more clearly the intensity at the crossing point between the Ag/organic SPP (SPP2) and the Ag/air SPP (SPP1) is overexposed.

Fig. 6.
Fig. 6.

Theoretically derived dispersion data showing the power dissipated from a dipole source to modes supported by the a metal film bounded on one surface by a spun Alq3 film and on the other by an 22-tric dielectric overlayer, as a function of dielectric overlayer thickness and inplane wavevector. For a structure with no dielectric overlayer SPP1 and SPP2 correspond to the SPP modes associated with the metal/air and metal/organic interfaces respectively. TE corresponds to a TE polarized waveguide mode supported by the system.

Fig. 7.
Fig. 7.

Integrated intensity of PL emission obtained from the structure seen in Fig. 3b as a function of dielectric overlayer thickness. Also shown is the integrated TM polarized PL emission intensity from the structure shown in Fig. 3a. (Note for dielectric overlayer thicknesses below 114.4 nm no TE polarized emission features were seen).

Equations (2)

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k SPP ± n k g = k 0 sin θ
k SPP air = k SPP org ± n k g

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