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Frontiers in Surface Plasmon Photonics - Fundamentals and Applications (PLASMONICS)
Start date: Jan 1, 2009, End date: Dec 31, 2014 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"Surface plasmons have generated considerable renewed interest through a combination of scientific and technological advances. In particular with the progress nanofabrication techniques, the properties of surface plasmons (SP) can now be controlled by structuring metals at the nanometer scale. The overall objective of this proposal is to manipulate and control the properties of the SPs to analyze fundamental phenomena through which new capacities can emerge. The project is divided in four parts with strong overlap: 1) SP enhanced devices: We plan to use the benefits provided by SPs to enhance devices or create new device architectures. Textured metal surfaces, and the associated SP modes, can be used as antennas to extract, capture and control light in a variety of applications that include imaging and polarization sensing, nano-optical elements and detectors. 2) SP circuitry: To achieve complete miniature SP photonic circuits, a number of components to launch SP, control their propagation and finally decouple SP back to light are necessary. Much progress has been made in this direction but many challenges remain at the level of individual components and complete circuits that will be explored. 3) Molecule SP interactions: Molecule - SP strongly coupled interactions are expected to modify extensively photophysical and photochemical processes that will be studied by time resolved techniques. This issue also has implications for generating all optical control needed in SP circuitry. 4) Casimir effect and SPs: The tailoring of the Casimir force by enhancing the contribution of SP modes has been proposed by theoretical studies. Experiments will be undertaken to test the relationship between Casimir physics and plasmonics using nanostructured metal surfaces which could have significant consequences for nano-electro-mechanical systems. For each of these subjects, the objectives are at the cutting edge of the surface plasmon science and technology."
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