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Metal-Substrate-Mediated Plasmon Hybridization in a Nanoparticle Dimer for Photoluminescence Line-Width Shrinking and Intensity Enhancement

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journal contribution
posted on 14.03.2017, 00:00 by Guang-Can Li, Yong-Liang Zhang, Jing Jiang, Yu Luo, Dang Yuan Lei
Metal-film-coupled nanoparticles with subnanometer particle–film gaps possess an ultrasmall mode volume, responsible for a variety of intriguing phenomena in plasmonic nanophotonics. Due to the large radiative loss associated with dipolar coupling, however, the plasmonic-film-coupled nanocavities usually feature a low-quality factor, setting an ultimate limit of the increased light–matter interaction strength. Here, we demonstrate a plasmonic nanocavity composed of a metal-film-coupled nanoparticle dimer, exhibiting a significantly improved quality factor. Compared to a silica-supported dimer, the spectral line width of the nanocavity plasmon resonance is reduced by a factor of ∼4.6 and is even smaller than its monomer counterpart (∼30% reduction). Comprehensive theoretical analyses reveal that this pronounced resonance narrowing effect can be attributed to intense film-mediated plasmon hybridization between the bonding dipolar and quadrupolar gap modes in the dimer. More importantly, the invoking of the dark quadrupole resonance leads to a giant photoluminescence intensity enhancement (∼200 times) and dramatic emission line-width narrowing (∼4.6 times), compared to the silica-supported dimer. The similar spectral characteristics of the measured plasmonic scattering and photoluminescence emission indicate that the radiative decay of the coupled plasmons in the nanocavity is the origin of the observed photoluminescence, consistent with a proposed phenomenological model. Numerical calculations show that the intensity enhancement is mainly contributed by the dimer–film gap rather than the interparticle gap. These findings not only shed more light on the hybridized interaction between plasmon modes but also deepen the understanding of photoluminescence emission in coupled plasmonic nanostructures.