Real-space mapping of tailored sheet and edge plasmons in graphene nanoresonators

A. Y. Nikitin, P. Alonso-González, S. Vélez, S. Mastel, A. Centeno, A. Pesquera, A. Zurutuza, F. Casanova, L. E. Hueso, F. H. L. Koppens & R. Hillenbrand

Nature Photonics 10, 239–243 (2016)
Plasmons in graphene nanoresonators have many potential applications in photonics and optoelectronics, including room-temperature infrared and terahertz photodetectors, sensors, reflect arrays or modulators. The development of efficient devices will critically depend on precise knowledge and control of the plasmonic modes. Here, we use near-field microscopy between λ0 = 10–12 μm to excite and image plasmons in tailored disk and rectangular graphene nanoresonators, and observe a rich variety of coexisting Fabry–Perot modes. Disentangling them by a theoretical analysis allows the identification of sheet and edge plasmons, the latter exhibiting mode volumes as small as 10−8λ03. By measuring the dispersion of the edge plasmons we corroborate their superior confinement compared with sheet plasmons, which among others could be applied for efficient 1D coupling of quantum emitters12. Our understanding of graphene plasmon images is a key to unprecedented in-depth analysis and verification of plasmonic functionalities in future flatland technologies.