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Circularly polarized unidirectional emission via a coupled plasmonic spiral antenna

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Abstract

In this Letter, we study the emission properties of an electric dipole emitter coupled to a plasmonic spiral structure. The plasmonic spiral structure functions as an optical antenna, coupling the electric dipole emission into circularly polarized unidirectional emission in the far field. Increasing number of turns of the spiral leads to narrower angular width of the emission pattern in the far field. For a spiral antenna with six turns, antenna directivity of 23.5dB with a directional emission into a narrow angular cone of 4.3° can be achieved. The emitted photons carry spin that is essentially determined by the handedness of the spiral antenna. By reversing the spiral, one can switch the polarization of the emission field between left-hand and right-hand circular polarizations. The spiral antenna may be used as a nanoscale circular polarization source in single molecule sensing, single-photo sources, and integrated photonic circuits.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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