Quantum Nanostructures and
Nanofabrication Group

Prof. Karl K. Berggren and Dr. P. Donald Keathley

New Publication “Electron energy loss of ultraviolet plasmonic modes in aluminum nanodisks”

We theoretically investigated electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) of ultraviolet surface plasmon modes in aluminum nanodisks. Using full-wave Maxell electromagnetic simulations, we studied the impact of the diameter on the resonant modes of the nanodisks. We found that the mode behavior can be separately classified for two distinct cases: (1) flat nanodisks where the diameter is much larger than the thickness and (2) thick nanodisks where the diameter is comparable to the thickness. While the multipolar edge modes and breathing modes of flat nanostructures have previously been interpreted using intuitive, analytical models based on surface plasmon polariton (SPP) modes of a thin-film stack, it has been found that the true dispersion relation of the multipolar edge modes deviates significantly from the SPP dispersion relation. Here, we developed a modified intuitive model that uses effective wavelength theory to accurately model this dispersion relation with significantly less computational overhead compared to full-wave Maxwell electromagnetic simulations. However, for the case of thick nanodisks, this effective wavelength theory breaks down, and such intuitive models are no longer viable. We found that this is because some modes of the thick nanodisks carry a polar (i.e., out of the substrate plane or along the electron beam direction) dependence and cannot be simply categorized as radial breathing modes or angular (azimuthal) multipolar edge modes. This polar dependence leads to radiative losses, motivating the use of simultaneous EELS and cathodoluminescence measurements when experimentally investigating the complex mode behavior of thick nanostructures.

A complete description of the work may be found here.