Determining plasmonic hot-carrier energy distributions via single-molecule transport measurements

Harsha Reddy, Kun Wang, Zhaxylyk Kudyshev, Linxiao Zhu, Shen Yan, Andrea Vezzoli, Simon J. Higgins, Vikram Gavini, Alexandra Boltasseva, Pramod Reddy, Vladimir M. Shalaev, Edgar Meyhofer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


Hot carriers in plasmonic nanostructures, generated via plasmon decay, play key roles in applications such as photocatalysis and in photodetectors that circumvent bandgap limitations. However, direct experimental quantification of steady-state energy distributions of hot carriers in nanostructures has so far been lacking. We present transport measurements from single-molecule junctions, created by trapping suitably chosen single molecules between an ultrathin gold film supporting surface plasmon polaritons and a scanning probe tip, that can provide quantification of plasmonic hot-carrier distributions. Our results show that Landau damping is the dominant physical mechanism of hot-carrier generation in nanoscale systems with strong confinement. The technique developed in this work will enable quantification of plasmonic hot-carrier distributions in nanophotonic and plasmonic devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)423-426
Number of pages4
Issue number6502
StatePublished - Jul 24 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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