Planar electron-driven photon sources have been recently proposed as miniaturized light sources, with prospects for ultrafast conjugate electron–photon microscopy and spectral interferometry. Such sources usually follow the symmetry of the electron-induced polarization: transition-radiation-based sources, for example, only generate p-polarized light. Here we demonstrate that the polarization, the bandwidth, and the directionality of photons can be tailored by utilizing photon-sieve-based structures. We design, fabricate, and characterize self-complementary chiral structures made of holes in an Au film and generate light vortex beams with specified angular momentum orders. The incoming electron interacting with the structure generates chiral surface plasmon polaritons on the structured Au surface that scatter into the far field. The outcoupled radiation interferes with transition radiation creating TE- and TM-polarized Laguerre–Gauss light beams with a chiral intensity distribution. The generated vortex light and its unique spatiotemporal features can form the basis for the generation of structured-light electron-driven photon sources.

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European Research Council (ERC) , The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO)
Nano Lett.
Photonic Materials

van Nielen, N., Hentschel, M., Schilder, N., Giessen, H., Polman, A., & Talebi, N. (2020). Electrons Generate Self-Complementary Broadband Vortex Light Beams Using Chiral Photon Sieves. Nano Lett., 20(8), 5975–5981. doi:10.1021/acs.nanolett.0c01964