Numerical investigations of a multi-walled carbon nanotube-based multi-segmented optical antenna
Motivated by the fabrication potential of multi-walled carbon nanotube structures, we numerically investigated a paired structure consisting of two metallic spheres each grown on one end of a multi-walled nanotube. The paired two-segmented structure is capable to convert free-space radiation into an intense near-field, and, hence, acting as an optical antenna. Vice versa the presence of the two nanotubes enable a current source at the antenna feed to more efficiently energy into the radiation modes, resulting e.g. in correspondingly altered luminescence lifetimes when an excited single molecule is placed in the feed point. Furthermore, the structure represents a mean to localize light on a sub-wavelength scale within different materials, which is interesting in the context of a fabrication technology for integrated nanophotonic components with different material combinations. The optical properties of the nano-antenna are analyzed by means of numerical simulations using the finite element method. Our investigations have revealed that the field enhancement, the resonances, and the radiation patterns can be easily tuned since all these quantities strongly depend on the size of the nanotubes and the metallic spheres, as well as on their material properties The structure we propose here carries a great potential for bio-sensing, for tip-enhanced spectroscopy applications, and for interfacing integrated photonic nano circuits.