Hybrid Cavity-Antenna Systems for Quantum Optics Outside the Cryostat?
Hybrid cavity-antenna systems have been proposed to combine the sub-wavelength light confinement of plasmonic antennas with microcavity quality factors Q. Here, we examine what confinement and Q can be reached in these hybrid systems, and we address their merits for various applications in classical and quantum optics. Specifically, we investigate their applicability for quantum-optical applications at noncryogenic temperatures. To this end we first derive design rules for hybrid resonances from a simple analytical model. These rules are benchmarked against full-wave simulations of hybrids composed of state-of-the-art nanobeam cavities and plasmonic-dimer gap antennas. We find that hybrids can outperform the plasmonic and cavity constituents in terms of Purcell factor, and additionally offer freedom to reach any Q at a similar Purcell factor. We discuss how these metrics are highly advantageous for a high Purcell factor, yet weak-coupling applications, such as bright sources of indistinguishable single photons. The challenges for room-temperature strong coupling, however, are far more daunting: the extremely high dephasing of emitters implies that little benefit can be achieved from trading confinement against a higher Q, as done in hybrids. An attractive alternative could be strong coupling at liquid nitrogen temperature, where emitter dephasing is lower and this trade-off can alleviate the stringent fabrication demands required for antenna strong coupling. For few-emitter strong-coupling, high-speed and low-power coherent or incoherent light sources, particle sensing and vibrational spectroscopy, hybrids provide the unique benefit of very high local optical density of states, tight plasmonic confinement, yet microcavity Q.