Hybrid photonic-plasmonic cavities have emerged as a new platform to increase light–matter interaction capable to enhance the Purcell factor in a singular way not attainable with either photonic or plasmonic cavities separately. In the hybrid cavities proposed so far, the plasmonic element is usually a metallic bow-tie antenna, so the plasmonic gap—defined by lithography—is limited to minimum values of several nanometers. Nanoparticleon-a-mirror (NPoM) cavities are far superior to achieve the smallest possible mode volumes, as plasmonic gaps smaller than 1 nm can be created. Here, we design a hybrid cavity that combines an NPoM plasmonic cavity and a dielectric-nanobeam photonic crystal cavity operating at transverse-magnetic polarization. The metallic nanoparticle can be placed very close (<1 nm) to the upper surface of the dielectric cavity, which acts as a low-reflectivity mirror. We demonstrate through numerical calculations of the local density of states that this hybrid plasmonic-photonic cavity exhibits quality factors Q above 103 and normalized mode volumes V down to 10-3, thus resulting in high Purcell factors (F P ≈ 105), while being experimentally feasible with current technology. Our results suggest that hybrid cavities with sub-nanometer gaps should open new avenues for boosting light–matter interaction in nanophotonic systems.

Photonics Res.
Resonant Nanophotonics

Barreda, A.I, Zapata-Herrera, M, Palstra, I.M, Mercadé, L, Aizpurua, J, Koenderink, A.F, & Martínez, A. (2021). Hybrid photonic-plasmonic cavities based on the nanoparticle-on-a-mirror configuration. Photonics Res., 9(12), 2398–2419. doi:10.1364/PRJ.433761