Interferometric near-field characterization of plasmonic slot waveguides in single- and poly-crystalline gold films

M. Prämassing, M. Liebtrau, H. J. Schill, S. Irsen and S. Linden

Optics Express 28, 12998 (2020)
Single-crystalline gold films show superior plasmonic properties compared to their poly-crystalline counterparts. However, this advantage comes at the cost of a more complex preparation process. It is thus crucial to validate whether the impact of the material quality on the performance of the respective plasmonic device justifies this additional effort. In order to address this question for the case of plasmonic slot waveguides, we present interferometric near-field measurements at telecommunication wavelengths on slot waveguides in single- and poly-crystalline gold films. We observe significantly larger propagation lengths in the case of single-crystalline gold films for slot widths below 100 nm. In contrast for larger widths, both gold films give rise to comparable propagation lengths.