We demonstrate that an ordered array of aluminum nanopyramids, behaving as a phased array of optical antennae, strongly modifies light absorption in thin layers of dye molecules. Photoluminescence measurements as a function of the illumination angle are performed using a time-reversed Fourier microscope. This technique enables a variable-angle plane-wave illumination of nanostructures in a microscope-based setup. Our measurements reveal an enhancement of the light conversion in certain directions of illumination, which indicate the efficient diffractive coupling between the free space radiation and the surface plasmons. Numerical simulations confirm that surface modes supported by the periodic array enhance the intensity of the pump field in the space between particles, where the dye molecules are located, yielding a directional plasmonicmediated enhancement of the optical absorption. This combined experimental and numerical characterization of the angular dependence of light absorption in nanostructures can be beneficial for the design and optimization of devices in which the harvesting of light plays a major role.

F. Bernal Arango
New J. Phys.

Lozano, G., Barten, T., Grzela, G., & Gómez Rivas, J. (2014). Directional absorption by phased arrays of plasmonic nanoantennae probed with time-reversed Fourier microscopy. New J. Phys., 16(Article number: 13040), 1–13. doi:10.1088/1367-2630/16/1/013040