Controlling light-matter interactions using local-assemblies and large-scale arrangements of plasmonic and quantum-confined nanostructures
Malak, Sidney T.
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The primary goal of this research is to develop an understanding of how the confinement mechanisms and resulting light-matter interactions of plasmonic and quantum dot nanostructures depend on three levels of system hierarchy. These levels of hierarchy include: individual nanostructures, their local-assemblies, and their large-scale arrangements. The surface confinement of plasmons and their plasmon resonances are focused on for plasmonic nanostructures. The quantum confinement of excitons and their radiative relaxation pathways are examined for quantum dots (QDs). By understanding the relationship between the nanostructure confinement mechanisms and the system hierarchy, light-matter interactions can be measured and controlled. In the proposed work, a variety of experimental deposition and patterning approaches are outlined that yield novel local-assemblies (stacked plasmonic nanostructures) and large-scale arrangements (hierarchical 3D plasmonic substrates and spatially modulated emission patterns). Physical, optical, and material characterization techniques are employed so that clear structure-property relationships can be established. These discoveries yield a general set of guidelines that can be referenced when designing and fabricating nanostructure-based photonic systems that need to exhibit specific optical characteristics. This scientific and engineering framework could accelerate the development of novel nanostructure photonic systems that exhibit properties like electric field enhancement, localized scattering/absorption, controlled optical amplification, and spatially modulated photoluminescence.