21 August 2012 Coloured Nanoview in Photonic Crystals

Nano-glimpse inside photonic crystal cavity

ICFO and AMOLF report in Nature Mat. on a new way to image light in photonic crystals. ICFO researchers Riccardo Sapienza (now at King’s College London), Jan Renger, Martin Kuttge and ICREA Prof. Niek van Hulst, in collaboration with AMOLF researchers Toon Coenen and Albert Polman, have recently reported in Nature Materials on the use of electron-beam-induced luminescence to map with unprecedented detail the photonic modes inside nanostructures. The advance will be of direct use to optimize nanophotonic designs for applications in biosensing, solar energy and quantum information technologies.

Photonic crystals and various nanocavities, designed and fabricated at ICFO NanoPhotonics Laboratory, were explored by angle-dependent cathodoluminescence imaging spectroscopy, a technique developed and refined at AMOLF. The 30 nm spatial resolution, broad band response and angular sensitivity reveal readily the sub-wavelength details and dispersion of the resonant Bloch modes and the localized photonic hot spots.

The paper ‘Deep-subwavelength imaging of the modal dispersion of light’ has been published in Nature Materials on August 19th by Dr. Riccardo Sapienza, Dr. Jan Renger, Dr. Martin Kuttge, ICREA Prof. Niek van Hulst, leader at ICFO of the Molecular NanoPhotonics group; and Toon Coenen and Prof. Albert Polman, director of the FOM Institute AMOLF in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.