Squeezing terahertz light into nanovolumes: Nanoantenna enhanced terahertz spectroscopy (NETS) of semiconductor quantum dots

Andrea Toma, Salvatore Tuccio, Mirko Prato, Francesco De Donato, Andrea Perucchi, Paola Di Pietro, Sergio Marras, Carlo Liberale, Remo Proietti Zaccaria, Francesco De De Angelis, Liberato Manna, Stefano Lupi, Enzo M. Di Fabrizio, Luca Razzari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations

Abstract

Terahertz spectroscopy has vast potentialities in sensing a broad range of elementary excitations (e.g., collective vibrations of molecules, phonons, excitons, etc.). However, the large wavelength associated with terahertz radiation (about 300 μm at 1 THz) severely hinders its interaction with nano-objects, such as nanoparticles, nanorods, nanotubes, and large molecules of biological relevance, practically limiting terahertz studies to macroscopic ensembles of these compounds, in the form of thick pellets of crystallized molecules or highly concentrated solutions of nanomaterials. Here we show that chains of terahertz dipole nanoantennas spaced by nanogaps of 20 nm allow retrieving the spectroscopic signature of a monolayer of cadmium selenide quantum dots, a significant portion of the signal arising from the dots located within the antenna nanocavities. A Fano-like interference between the fundamental antenna mode and the phonon resonance of the quantum dots is observed, accompanied by an absorption enhancement factor greater than one million. NETS can find immediate applications in terahertz spectroscopic studies of nanocrystals and molecules at extremely low concentrations. Furthermore, it shows a practicable route toward the characterization of individual nano-objects at these frequencies.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)386-391
Number of pages6
JournalNano Letters
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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