We systematically investigate the plasmonic "dolmen" geometry and its constituent elements using electron energy-loss spectroscopy and cathodoluminescence spectroscopy. In particular, we study the effects of the particle size and spacing on the resonant behavior and interparticle coupling. Because we apply both techniques on the same structures we can directly compare the results and investigate the radiative versus nonradiative character of the different modes. We find that the cathodoluminescence response is significantly lower than the electron energy-loss response for higher-energy modes because strong absorption reduces the scattering efficiency in this regime. Furthermore, we show that the overall resonant response roughly scales with size as expected for plasmonic structures but that the transverse resonant modes do become more dominant in larger structures due to a relative reduction in Ohmic dissipation. Using EELS and CL we can rigorously study coupling between the elements and show that the coupling diminishes for larger spacings.

S.A. Mann (Sander)
Phys. Rev. B
Photonic Materials

Coenen, T., Schoen, D. T., Brenny, B., Polman, A., & Brongersma, M. (2016). Combined electron energy-loss and cathodoluminescence spectroscopy on individual and composite plasmonic nanostructures. Phys. Rev. B, 93(19, Article number: 195429), 1–10. doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.93.195429