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Plasmon resonant amplification of a hot electron-driven photodiode


We report plasmon resonant excitation of hot electrons in a photodetector based on a metal/oxide/metal (Au/Al2O3/graphene) heterostructure. In this device, hot electrons, excited optically in the gold layer, jump over the oxide barrier and are injected into the graphene layer, producing a photocurrent. To amplify this process, the bottom gold electrode is patterned into a plasmon resonant grating structure with a pitch of 500 nm. The photocurrent produced in this device is measured using 633-nm-wavelength light as a function of incident angle. We observe the maximum photocurrent at ±10° from normal incidence under irra-diation with light polarized parallel to the incident plane (p-polarization) and perpendicular to the lines on the grating, and a constant (angle-independent) photocurrent under irradiation with light polarized perpendicular to the incident plane (s-polarization) and parallel to the grating. These data show an amplification factor of 4.6× under resonant conditions. At the same angle (±10°), we also observe sharp dips in the photoreflectance corresponding to waveve-ctor matching between the incident light and the plasmon mode in the grating. In addition, finite-difference time-domain simulations predict sharp dips in the photoreflectance at ±10°, and the electric field intensity profiles show clear excitation of a plasmon resonant mode when illuminated with p-polarized light at this angle.

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This research was supported by NSF Award No. CBET-1512505 (L. S.), Air Force Office of Scientific Research Grant No. FA9550-15-1-0184 (B. H.), Army Research Office (ARO) Award No. W911NF-14-1-0228 (H. S.), Department of Energy (DOE) Award No. DE-FG02-07ER46376 (N. P.), and ACS-PRF grant #55993-ND5 (J. C.).

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Correspondence to Stephen B. Cronin.

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Shen, L., Poudel, N., Gibson, G.N. et al. Plasmon resonant amplification of a hot electron-driven photodiode. Nano Res. 11, 2310–2314 (2018).

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  • hot electrons
  • plasmonic resonance
  • plasmon
  • grating
  • photocurrent
  • non-equilibrium