Nanophotonics is becoming invaluable for an expanding range of applications, from controlling the spontaneous emission rate and the directionality of quantum emitters, to reducing material requirements of solar cells by an order of magnitude. These effects are highly dependent on the near field of the nanostructure, which constitutes the evanescent fields from propagating and resonant localized modes. Although the interactions between quantum emitters and nanophotonic structures are increasingly well understood theoretically, directly imaging these interactions experimentally remains challenging. Here we demonstrate a photoactivated localization microscopy-based technique to image emitter-nanostructure interactions. For a 75 nm diameter silicon nanowire, we directly observe a confluence of emission rate enhancement, directivity modification and guided mode excitation, with strong interaction at scales up to 13 times the nanowire diameter. Furthermore, through analytical modelling we distinguish the relative contribution of these effects, as well as their dependence on emitter orientation.

Nature Commun.
Physics of Behavior

Johlin, E., Solari, J., Mann, S., Wang, J., Shimizu, T., & Garnett, E. (2016). Super-Resolution Imaging of Light-Matter Interactions near Single Semiconductor Nanowires. Nature Commun., 7(Article number: 13950), 1–6. doi:10.1038/ncomms13950