We report an experimental technique to map and exploit the local density of optical states of arbitrary planar nanophotonic structures. The method relies on positioning a spontaneous emitter attached to a scanning probe deterministically and reversibly with respect to its photonic environment while measuring its lifetime. We demonstrate the method by imaging the enhancement of the local density of optical states around metal nanowires. By nanopositioning, the decay rate of a pointlike source of fluorescence can be reversibly and repeatedly changed by a factor of 2 by coupling it to the guided plasmonic mode of the wire.

Phys. Rev. Lett.
Resonant Nanophotonics

Frimmer, M., Chen, Y., & Koenderink, F. (2011). Scanning emitter lifetime imaging microscopy for spontaneous emission control. Phys.Rev.Lett., 107(Article number: 123602), 1–5. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.107.123602