Study of Light-Matter Interaction at the Nanoscale with Quantum Dots in Photonic and Plasmonic Metamaterials
Indukuri, S R K Chaitanya
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Optical properties of nanoscopic materials have been intensively pursued over last couple of decades due to their tunable optical properties. Recent interests in this field have been mainly focused on the preparation of ordered arrays of nano materials and study of their optical properties. These interests have been motivated by the applications of such systems for nano photonic devices. Theoretical predictions from such systems reveal complex absorption and emission properties, different from individual ones mainly because of energy transfer between them. These properties can be controlled further by preparing hybrid arrays of nanostructures, including nano crystals of different types. Hybrid arrays with semiconductor quantum dots and metallic nanoparticles are an example of such system. Optical properties of such a system can be tuned by controlling the interaction between excitons and plasmons. This thesis presents the experimental studies on optical properties of polymer capped nanoparticles, quantum dot arrays and hybrid arrays with semi conducting quantum dot and metal nanoparticles. A brief summary of the experimental methods and results have been highlighted below. In this thesis, we study the controlling decay dynamics of CdSe quantum dots by 2D photonic-plasmonic and metamaterial templates. In Chapter 1 we provide a detailed background on the theoretical methods of Light-Matter interaction at nano scale. We also have given the detailed information on both weak and strong coupling region in the light-matter interaction. This chapter includes the discussion controlling light-matter interaction with both photonic crystals and plasmonic materials with some appropriate examples from the literature. In this chapter we have also explained the relevance of our work in this area and organization of the chapters and there importance has given. In chapter 2 we provide details about various experimental methods used in this thesis. A brief introduction is given on the materials used, their synthesis and the preparation of different type of self assembled plasmonic-photonic templates. This chapter starts with an explanation of the materials used along with the justification; moves on to the preparation of different 2D wire metamaterial. The characterization techniques for these different types of templates like spectroscopic ellipsometer, atomic force spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy are discussed. We also discussed optical spectroscopic techniques like confocal optical microscopy and near field optical microscopy techniques. The first two chapters form the basis of all the experiments discussed in the forth coming chapters. In chapter 3 Finite difference time domain (FDTD) simulations were performed on two different plasmonic sub wavelength photonic templates embedded with CdSe quantum dots. Tunable loading of these templates with plasmonic nano antenna allowed control of the emission from the embedded quantum dots. We discuss how large loading of nano antenna can effectively control the optical density of states for the quantum dots leading to enhancement of their radiative decay rates as observed in experiments. On the other hand, at low level of loading, while FDTD fails to capture the observed enhancement of decay rates in experiment, an alternative mechanism is suggested to exist in such cases. Thus, subtle interplay of multiple mechanisms engineered by appropriate placement and loading of plasmonic nano antenna in such templates is demonstrated as an effective method to control optical density of states and hence spontaneous emission of embedded quantum dots. In Chapter 4 we report results of controlled tuning of the local density of states (LDOS) in versatile, flexible and hierarchical self assembled plasmonic templates. Using 5 nm diameter gold (Au) spherical nano antenna within a polymer template randomly dispersed with quantum dots, we show how the photo-luminescence intensity and lifetime anisotropy of these dots can be significantly enhanced through LDOS tuning. Finite difference time domain simulations corroborate the experimental observations and extend the regime of enhancement to a wider range of geometric and spectral parameters bringing out the versatility of these functional plasmonic templates. It is also demonstrated how the templates act as plasmonic resonators for effectively engineer giant enhancement of the scattering efficiency of these nano antenna embedded in the templates. Our work provides an alternative method to achieve spontaneous emission intensity and anisotropy enhancement with true nanoscale plasmon resonators. In chapter 5 we reported enhancement optical properties of quantum dot monolayers on top of the functional, flexible and hierarchical self-assembled plasmonic template using extremely small gold (Au) nanoparticles of diameter 5 nm. We reported how the LODS changes with different polarizations for CdSe quantum dot present on top of the template. We observed the enhanced radiative LDOS from the nano antenna filled pores indicating plasmonic enhanced emission from these templates. The difference in spectral and spatial profile of LDOS and Pur-cells with polarization of quantum dot emission results in the anisotropic emission in these templates. In chapter 6 we reported the emergence of strong coupling between quantum emitters and 2D hyperbolic metamaterials (HMM). We studied both spectral dependence and effect of filling fraction of the HMM on strong interaction. We also show the controlling of the transition from weak coupling region to strong coupling region by changing the distance between QD monolayer and HMM. By using FDTD simulation we are able to calculate both spectral function S(!) and coupling efficiency. In chapter 7 as a conclusion we concluded the work done in this thesis. We also indicated the future directions in this field and possible application.
- Physics (PHY)