Characterization of nanophotonic devices far below the diffraction limit workshop

This workshop demonstrates how the Monarc® Pro CL detector can deliver the most comprehensive understanding of nanophotonic devices with a live demonstration showing the characterization of plasmonic and photonic crystal samples.

Developments in optical devices have revolutionized our lives in the twenty-first century, from high-speed communication and data transfer to portable displays. However, there remains significant potential for further improvement due to the progress in nanofabrication methods and the advances in understanding the interaction of light and matter at the nanoscale. Consequently, the last ten years have seen an explosion in research and development in nanophotonic applications, including such fields as plasmonics, metamaterials, and photonic crystals.

An essential characterization tool for nanophotonic research is the technique of cathodoluminescence (CL) microscopy, where a nanometer-sized electron beam is used to excite optical processes in a sample. The hyperspectral analysis of the radiative emission(s) enables nanoscale-mapping of the radiative local density of optical states. The directionality, dispersion, and polarization of emission can be measured, allowing the photonic band structure to be determined by energy-momentum spectroscopy. Furthermore, the optical properties can be related directly to a sample’s surface morphology and composition by simultaneously sensing the other signals available in an electron microscope.

The researcher’s newfound ability to build, manipulate, and characterize optically active nanostructures far smaller than the optical diffraction limit opens many basic science and disruptive technology innovation opportunities.