• Far-field optical imaging of surface plasmons with a subdiffraction limited separation

      Xiang, Yifeng; Chen, Junxue; Tang, Xi; Wang, Ruxue; Zhan, Qiwen; Lakowicz, Joseph R.; Zhang, Douguo (De Gruyter Open Ltd, 2020-12-18)
      When an ultrathin silver nanowire with a diameter less than 100 nm is placed on a photonic band gap structure, surface plasmons can be excited and propagate along two side-walls of the silver nanowire. Although the diameter of the silver nanowire is far below the diffraction limit, two bright lines can be clearly observed at the image plane by a standard wide-field optical microscope. Simulations suggest that the two bright lines in the far-field are caused by the unique phase distribution of plasmons on the two side-walls of the silver nanowire. Combining with the sensing ability of surface plasmons to its environment, the configuration reported in this work is capable of functioning as a sensing platform to monitor environmental changes in the near-field region of this ultrathin nanowire.
    • Fluorescence Coupling to Internal Modes of 1D Photonic Crystals Characterized by Back Focal Plane Imaging

      Choudhury, Sharmistha Dutta; Xiang, Yifeng; Zhang, Douguo; Descrovi, Emilano; Badugu, Ramachandram; Lakowicz, Joseph R (IOP Publishing Ltd, 2021-02-18)
      The coupling of fluorescence with surface electromagnetic modes, such as surface plasmons on thin metal films or Bloch surface waves (BSW) on truncated one-dimensional photonic crystals (1DPC), are presently utilized for many fluorescence-based applications. In addition to the surface wave, 1DPCs also support other electromagnetic modes that are confined within the 1DPC structure. These internal modes (IMs) have not received much attention for fluorescence coupling due to lack of spatial overlap of their electric fields with the surface bound fluorophores. However, our recent studies have indicated that the fluorescence coupling with IMs occurs quite efficiently. This observed internal mode-coupled emission (IMCE) is (similar to BSW-coupled emission) indeed wavelength dependent, directional and S-polarized. In this paper, we have carried out back-focal plane (BFP) imaging to reveal that the IMs of 1DPCs can couple with surface bound excited dye molecules, with or without a BSW mode presence. Depending on the emission wavelength, the coupling is observed with BSW and IMs or only IMs of the 1DPC structure. The experimental results are well matching with numerical simulations. The occurrence of IMCE regardless of the availability of BSWs removes the dependence on just the surface mode for obtaining coupled emission from 1DPCs. The observation of IMCE is expected to widen the scope of 1DPCs for surface-based fluorescence sensing and assays.