Plasmon nanomechanical coupling for nanoscale transduction

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Reference R. Thijssen, E. Verhagen, T.J. Kippenberg and A. Polman, Plasmon nanomechanical coupling for nanoscale transduction, Nano Lett. 13, 7: 3293-3297 (2013)
Groups Photonic Forces, Photonic Materials

We demonstrate plasmon-mechanical coupling in a metalized nanomechanical oscillator. A coupled surface plasmon is excited in the 25 nm wide gap between two metalized silicon nitride beams. The strong plasmonic dispersion allows the nanomechanical beams’ thermal motion at a frequency of 4.4 MHz to be efficiently transduced to the optical transmission, with a measured displacement spectral density of 1.11 × 10–13 m/Hz1/2. When exciting the second-order plasmonic mode at λ = 780 nm we observe optical-power-induced frequency shifts of the mechanical oscillator. Our results show that novel functionality of plasmonic nanostructures can be achieved through coupling to engineered nanoscale mechanical oscillators.