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Directional and Singular Surface Plasmon Generation in Chiral and Achiral Nanostructures Demonstrated by Leakage Radiation Microscopy

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journal contribution
posted on 03.05.2016, 00:00 by Quanbo Jiang, Aline Pham, Martin Berthel, Serge Huant, Joel Bellessa, Cyriaque Genet, Aurélien Drezet
In this paper, we describe the implementation of leakage radiation microscopy to probe the chirality of plasmonic nanostructures. We demonstrate experimentally spin-driven directional coupling as well as vortex generation of surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) by nanostructures built with T-shaped and Λ-shaped apertures. Using this far-field method, quantitative inspections, including directivity and extinction ratio measurements, are achieved via polarization analysis in both image and Fourier planes. To support our experimental findings, we develop an analytical model based on a multidipolar representation of Λ- and T-shaped aperture plasmonic couplers, allowing a theoretical explanation of both directionality and singular SPP formation. Furthermore, the roles of symmetry breaking and phases are emphasized in this work. This quantitative characterization of spin–orbit interactions paves the way for developing new directional couplers for subwavelength routing.