Excitation of Surface Plasmons by Inelastic Electron Tunneling

Lufang Liu, Yue Xu, Jiajie Zhu, Pan Wang*, Limin Tong, Alexey V. Krasavin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Surface plasmons are usually excited by diffraction-limited optical methods with the use of bulky optical components, which greatly limits the miniaturization and chip-scale high-density integration of plasmonic devices. By integrating a plasmonic nanostructure with a tunnel junction, plasmonic modes in the nanostructure can be directly excited by low-energy tunneling electrons with the advantages including an ultra-small footprint and an ultra-fast speed. In this mini-review, recent progress in the electric excitation of localized and propagating surface plasmons by inelastic electron tunneling is overviewed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number251
JournalFrontiers in Physics
Publication statusPublished - 6 Aug 2020


  • inelastic tunneling
  • light emission
  • optical antennas
  • surface plasmons
  • tunnel junctions
  • waveguiding


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