49. Optical Spin in Nanowire Plasmons


We have a new paper to appear in Applied Physics Letters

The work is about “Experimental observation of transverse spin of plasmon polaritons in a single-crystalline silver nanowire”

Circularly polarized laser beams carry spin angular momentum. Such “spinning” photons have a plethora of applications including optical spanners, optical information processing, chiro-optics, micro-gyroscopes, nonlinear dynamics of matter at micro and nanoscales, and many more.

An interesting question to ask is : can we generate spin states with surface electromagnetic waves such as surface plasmon polaritons ? Unlike freely propagating optical laser beams, surface electromagnetic waves can be harnessed for sub-wavelength optical interaction on a chip, and have risen to importance.

In this paper, we experimentally show how transverse spin can be generated by nanowire surface plasmons. Thanks to the outstanding effort of my group members Chetna Taneja and Diptabrata Paul, we were able to image and measure the spin density of such (quasi) one-dimensional  surface electromagnetic waves in a single-crystalline silver nanowire.

A prospect that we are interested in is to transfer this spin angular momentum to objects such as  individual nanoparticles and molecules in a trap, which can, hopefully, create some interesting (nonlinear) dynamic states.

preprint version on arxiv : https://arxiv.org/abs/2104.09303

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