Dynamic Control of Plasmon Generation by an Individual Quantum System
Controlling light on the nanoscale in a similar way as electric currents has the potential to revolutionize the exchange and processing of information. Although light can be guided on this scale by coupling it to plasmons, that is, collective electron oscillations in metals, their local electronic control remains a challenge. Here, we demonstrate that an individual quantum system is able to dynamically gate the electrical plasmon generation. Using a single molecule in a double tunnel barrier between two electrodes we show that this gating can be exploited to monitor fast changes of the quantum system itself and to realize a single-molecule plasmon-generating field-effect transistor operable in the gigahertz range. This opens new avenues toward atomic scale quantum interfaces bridging nanoelectronics and nanophotonics.