Characterization of Nanostructures

Nanostructures are physical structures with features on a nanometer scale. With a SuperK supercontinuum white light laser it is possible to characterize nanostructures.

What are nanostructures?

Nanostructures simply refer to physical structures with features on a nanometer scale. Structures relevant for optical characterization include such diverse fields as:

  • Metamaterials
  • Graphene and carbon nanotubes
  • Photonics bandgap structures
  • Surface plasmon waveguides
  • Nanofibers, spheres, rods etc.
  • Quantum dots

How can I use a SuperK for the characterization of nanostructures?

Have you ever needed a different wavelength, wider tunability or a more convenient, stable or reliable light source? Then the SuperK white light laser is for you.

The SuperK Advantages

– Tune and interrogate any structure or resonance (260-2400nm)
– Single-mode diffraction-limited output ideal for small structures
– Stable power and excellent pointing stability of the beam
– Active compensation for drift in setup via Power Lock
– Reliable and easy to use with zero maintenance

The SuperK supercontinuum laser can give you light anywhere in the 260-2400 nm region, making it a great tool for optical characterization of nanostructures. Many researchers around the World use the SuperK for measurements on nanoparticles, plasmonic waveguides, metamaterials and many other small structures. The lasers are compatible with a variety of characterization techniques like Raman spectroscopy, Brillouin light scattering spectroscopy, spectroscopic ellipsometry, SNOM and s-SNOM where it replaces single-line lasers and traditional broadband sources.

Stability is the key

When characterizing very small structures, the stability of the light source is critical (e.g. for coupling to plasmonic waveguides). As the only supercontinuum source on the market, the SuperK EXTREME comes with our unique Power Lock feature that lets you lock the power anywhere in your setup. This lets you compensate for drift and instabilities in mirrors, lenses etc. and gives you power stability at you sample in the 0.2-0.5 % range.

Output through a SuperK VARIA with and without Power Lock. Power Lock improves stability to fractions of a percent.

Power stability is important, but without good pointing stability of the beam, it is worthless. The SuperK EXTREME has the best pointing stability on the market and it is single-mode in the entire spectral range of the source. This ensures not only stable transmission through our own filtering accessories, but also stable coupling to your sample resulting in less noise and better measurements.

A SuperK supercontinuum source replaces all of these light sources:

  • ASE sources
  • Lamps
  • Single line lasers
  • SLEDs
  • Dye lasers

How others have used the SuperK for nanostructure characterization

  • Ilya Grinberg et. al. “Perovskite oxides for visible-light-absorbing ferroelectric and photovoltaic materials” Nature 503, Letter pp. 509–512 (2013)
  •  Kriesch et. al. “Functional Plasmonic Nanocircuits with Low Insertion and Propagation Losses” Nano Letters, 13 (9) (2013)
  •  T. Weiduwilt et al. “Optical Fiber Micro-Taper with Circular Symmetric Gold Coating for Sensor Applications Based on Surface Plasmon Resonance” Plasmonics, Vol 8 (2) (2013)
  • A. Pors et. al. “Broadband Focusing Flat Mirrors Based on Plasmonic Gradient Metasurfaces” , Nano Lett., 13 (2), (2013)
  • O. Salihoglu et. al. “Plasmon-polaritons on graphene-metal surface and their use in biosensors” Appl. Phys. Lett. 100 (2012)
  • C. Helgert et. al., “Chiral metamaterial composed of three-dimensional plasmonic nanostructures,” Nano Lett. 11, (2011)
  • M. C. Lemme et. al. “Gate-activated photoresponse in a graphene p-n junction” Nano Lett., 2011, 11 (10), pp 4134–4137
  • E. Pshenay-Severin et. al., “Experimental determination of the dispersion relation of light in metamaterials by white-light interferometry,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 27, 660-666 (2010).
  • M.C. Lemme et. al. “Local On-Off Control of a Graphene p-n Photodetector” 2010
  • J. Wen, P. Banzer, U. Peschel et al. “Experimantal cross-polarization detection of coupling far-field light to highly confined plasmonic gap modes via nanoantennas” Applied Physics Letters, Volume 98, Issue 10
  • S. Ravets et. al. Surface plasmons in the Young slit doublet experiment, JOSA B, Vol. 26, Issue 12, pp. B28-B33 (2009)
  • A. L. Falk et. al. “Near-field electrical detection of optical plasmons and single-plasmon sources” Nature Physics, Vol 5 (2009)
  • N. M. Gabor et. al. “Extremely Efficient Multiple Electron-Hole Pair Generation in Carbon Nanotube Photodiodes” Science 11 September 2009, Vol. 325 no. 5946 pp. 1367-1371
  • S. Schwaiger et. al. “Rolled-Up Three-Dimensional Metamaterials with a Tunable Plasma Frequency in the Visible Regime”  Phys. Rev. Lett. 102, 163903 (2009)
  • A. Boltasseva and S. I. Bozhevolnyi, “Directional couplers using long-range surface plasmon polariton waveguides,” Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics 12, 1233 – 1241 (2006)
  • A. Boltasseva “Fabrication of plasmonic waveguides for device applications,” Proc. SPIE, Vol. 6638, 663804 (2007)


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