Kimani Toussaint, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Two-dimensional arrays of gap, plasmonic nanoantennas have been a topic of increasing interest in recent years, primarily because of their attribute of enhancing the intensity of light by as much as 10^3 times over small, nanometer-sized, spatial regions. Concomitant with this local field enhancement, which is optimized under resonant optical illumination, is significant local significant (Joule) heating of the nanoantennas. While typically heating in plasmonic systems is viewed as an unwanted lossy mechanism, in recent years, various research groups have investigated harnessing this property in novel ways. In the case of the PROBE lab at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, we have focused on the use of arrays of either gold bowtie nanoantennas (BNAs), or (dielectric) pillar-supported gold bowtie nanoantennas (pBNAs). Using either BNAs or pBNAs as platforms, the PROBE lab has investigated 3 primary applications that leverage enhanced local heating: optical nanotweezers, near-field optical recording, and plasmon assisted etching. In this talk, we highlight select applications from low-input optical power density tweezing to fabrication of planar optical components.