Abstract

We introduce a new experimental method to measure the local electromagnetic density of states (LDOS) by integrating the differential scattering cross section. The signal detected essentially reflects the intrinsic scattering response of the photonic structures and renders the partial LDOS dominated by evanescent modes. We give a theoretical understanding of the LDOS image formation and show a qualitative agreement between experimental images and theoretical maps. This approach can be practically applied to the direct measurement of an optical antenna’s scattering efficiency and can provide valuable information for designing optimum structures utilized in radiative decay engineering.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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