Percolating plasmonic networks for light emission control

Michele Gaio*, Marta Castro-Lopez, Jan Renger, Niek Van Hulst, Riccardo Sapienza

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Optical nanoantennas have revolutionised the way we manipulate single photons emitted by individual light sources in a nanostructured photonic environment. Complex plasmonic architectures allow for multiscale light control by shortening or stretching the light wavelength for a fixed operating frequency, meeting the size of the emitter and that of propagating modes. Here, we study self-assembled semi-continuous gold films and lithographic gold networks characterised by large local density of optical state (LDOS) fluctuations around the electrical percolation threshold, a regime where the surface is characterised by large metal clusters with fractal topology. We study the formation of plasmonic networks and their effect on light emission from embedded fluorescent probes in these systems. Through fluorescence dynamics experiments we discuss the role of global long-range interactions linked to the degree of percolation and to the network fractality, as well as the local near-field contributions coming from the local electro-magnetic fields and the topology. Our experiments indicate that local properties dominate the fluorescence modification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-252
Number of pages16
JournalFaraday Discussions
Publication statusPublished - 16 Oct 2014


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