On Chip Plasmonic Monopole Nano-Antennas and Circuits
Analogues of many radio frequency (RF) antenna designs such as the half-wave dipole and Yagi-Uda have been successfully adapted to the optical frequency regime, opening the door for important advances in biosensing, photodetection, and emitter control. Examples of monopole antennas, however, are conspicuously rare given the element's extensive use in RF applications. Monopole antennas are attractive as they represent an easy to engineer, compact geometry and are well isolated from interference due the ground plane. Typically, however, the need to orient the antenna element perpendicular to a semi-infinite ground plane requires a three-dimensional structure and is incompatible with chip-based fabrication techniques. We propose and demonstrate here for the first time that monopole antenna elements can be fashioned out of single element nanoparticles fabricated in conventional planar geometries by using a small nanorod as a wire reflector. The structure offers a compact geometry and the reflector element provides a measure of isolation analogous to the RF counterpart. This isolation persists in the conductive coupling regime, allowing multiple monopoles to be combined into a single nanoparticle, yet still operate independently. This contrasts with several previous studies that observed dramatic variations in the spectral response of conductively coupled particles. We are able to account for these effects by modeling the system using circuit equations from standard RF antenna theory. Our model accurately describes this behavior as well as the detailed resonance tuning of the structure. As a specific practical application, the monopole resonances are precisely tuned to desired protein absorption bands, thereby enhancing their spectroscopic signatures. Furthermore, the accurate modeling of conductive coupling and demonstrated electronic isolation should be of general interest to the design of complex plasmonic circuits incorporating multiple antennas and other current carrying elements.