Plexciton quenching by resonant electron transfer from quantum emitter to metallic nanoantenna

D C Marinica, H Lourenço-Martins, J Aizpurua, A G Borisov
Nano Letters 2013, 13 (12): 5972-8
Coupling molecular excitons and localized surface plasmons in hybrid nanostructures leads to appealing, tunable optical properties. In this respect, the knowledge about the excitation dynamics of a quantum emitter close to a plasmonic nanoantenna is of importance from fundamental and practical points of view. We address here the effect of the excited electron tunneling from the emitter into a metallic nanoparticle(s) in the optical response. When close to a plasmonic nanoparticle, the excited state localized on a quantum emitter becomes short-lived because of the electronic coupling with metal conduction band states. We show that as a consequence, the characteristic features associated with the quantum emitter disappear from the optical absorption spectrum. Thus, for the hybrid nanostructure studied here and comprising quantum emitter in the narrow gap of a plasmonic dimer nanoantenna, the quantum tunneling might quench the plexcitonic states. Under certain conditions the optical response of the system approaches that of the individual plasmonic dimer. Excitation decay via resonant electron transfer can play an important role in many situations of interest such as in surface-enhanced spectroscopies, photovoltaics, catalysis, or quantum information, among others.

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