The field of plasmonics offers a route to control light fields with metallic nanostructures through the excitation of surface plasmon polaritons. These surface waves, bound to a metal dielectric interface, can tightly confine electromagnetic energy. Active control over surface plasmon polaritons has potential for applications in sensing, photovoltaics, quantum communication, nanocircuitry, metamaterials and super-resolution microscopy. We achieve here active control of plasmonic fields using a digital spatial light modulator. Optimizing the plasmonic phases through feedback, we focus surface plasmon polaritons at a freely prechosen point on the surface of a nanohole array. Digital addressing and scanning of surface plasmon polaritons without mechanical motion may enable novel interdisciplinary applications of advanced plasmonic devices in cell microscopy, optical data storage and sensing.

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Journal Nature Photon.
Gjonaj, B, Aulbach, J, Johnson, P. M, Mosk, A. P, Kuipers, L, & Lagendijk, A. (2011). Active spatial control of plasmonic fields. Nature Photon., 5, 360–363. doi:10.1038/nphoton.2011.57