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Controlling the Heat Dissipation in Temperature-Matched Plasmonic Nanostructures

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journal contribution
posted on 31.07.2017, 00:00 by Alessandro Alabastri, Mario Malerba, Eugenio Calandrini, Alejandro Manjavacas, Francesco De Angelis, Andrea Toma, Remo Proietti Zaccaria
Heat dissipation in a plasmonic nanostructure is generally assumed to be ruled only by its own optical response even though also the temperature should be considered for determining the actual energy-to-heat conversion. Indeed, temperature influences the optical response of the nanostructure by affecting its absorption efficiency. Here, we show both theoretically and experimentally how, by properly nanopatterning a metallic surface, it is possible to increase or decrease the light-to-heat conversion rate depending on the temperature of the system. In particular, by borrowing the concept of matching condition from the classical antenna theory, we first analytically demonstrate how the temperature sets a maximum value for the absorption efficiency and how this quantity can be tuned, thus leading to a temperature-controlled optical heat dissipation. In fact, we show how the nonlinear dependence of the absorption on the electron–phonon damping can be maximized at a specific temperature, depending on the system geometry. In this regard, experimental results supported by numerical calculations are presented, showing how geometrically different nanostructures can lead to opposite dependence of the heat dissipation on the temperature, hence suggesting the fascinating possibility of employing plasmonic nanostructures to tailor the light-to-heat conversion rate of the system.

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