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Photodetection with Active Optical Antennas

Science  06 May 2011:
Vol. 332, Issue 6030, pp. 702-704
DOI: 10.1126/science.1203056

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Abstract

Nanoantennas are key optical components for light harvesting; photodiodes convert light into a current of electrons for photodetection. We show that these two distinct, independent functions can be combined into the same structure. Photons coupled into a metallic nanoantenna excite resonant plasmons, which decay into energetic, “hot” electrons injected over a potential barrier at the nanoantenna-semiconductor interface, resulting in a photocurrent. This dual-function structure is a highly compact, wavelength-resonant, and polarization-specific light detector, with a spectral response extending to energies well below the semiconductor band edge.

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