Observation of the plasmonic Rashba effect manifested by a polarization helicity degeneracy removal in a surface wave excitation via an inversion asymmetric metamaterial is reported. By designing the metasurface symmetry using anisotropic nanoantennas with space-variant orientations, we govern the light–matter interaction via the local field distribution arising in a wavelength and a photon spin control. The broken spatial inversion symmetry is experimentally manifested by a directional excitation of surface wave jets observed via a decoupling slit as well as by the quantum dot fluorescence. Rashba-type plasmonic metasurfaces provide a route for spin-based nanoscale devices controlled by the metamaterial symmetry and usher in a new era of light manipulation.
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