Europhys. Lett.
Volume 64, Number 5, December 2003
Page(s) 634 - 640
Section General
Published online 01 November 2003
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2003-00275-y
Europhys. Lett., 64 (5) , pp. 634-640 (2003)

Remote optical addressing of single nano-objects

M. Brun, A. Drezet, H. Mariette, N. Chevalier, J. C. Woehl and S. Huant

Laboratoire de Spectrométrie Physique, CNRS UMR5588, Université Joseph Fourier Grenoble - BP 87, 38402 Saint Martin d'Hères cedex, France

(Received 15 May 2003; accepted in final form 2 October 2003)

We present a scheme for remotely addressing single nano-objects by means of near-field optical microscopy that makes only use of one of the most fundamental properties of electromagnetic radiation: its polarization. A medium containing optically active nano-objects is covered with a thin metallic film presenting sub-wavelength holes. When the optical tip is positioned some distance away from a hole, surface plasmons in the metal coating are generated which, by turning the polarization plane of the excitation light, transfer the excitation towards a chosen hole and induce emission from the underlying nano-objects. The method, easily applicable to other systems, is demonstrated for single quantum dots (QDs) at low temperature. It may become a valuable tool for future optical applications in the nanoworld.

07.79.Fc - Near-field scanning optical microscopes.
78.67.-n - Optical properties of low-dimensional, mesoscopic, and nanoscale materials and structures.
73.20.Mf - Collective excitations (including excitons, polarons, plasmons and other charge-density excitations).

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