Near-Field Photothermal Heating with a Plasmonic Nanofocusing Probe

Xiang Chen, Biqing Dong, Oluwaseyi Balogun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Noble metal nanostructures support plasmon resonances—collective oscillation of charge carriers at optical frequencies—and serve as effective tools to create bright light sources at the nanoscale. These sources are useful in broad application areas including, super-resolution imaging and spectroscopy, nanolithography, and near-field optomechanical transducers. The feasibility of these applications relies on efficient conversion of free-space propagating light to plasmons. Recently, we demonstrated a hybrid nanofocusing scheme for efficient coupling of light to plasmons at the apex of a scanning probe. In the approach, free-space light is coupled to propagating surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) on the tapered shaft of the scanning probe. The SPPs propagate adiabatically towards the probe tip where they are coupled to localized plasmons (LSPs). The nanofocusing scheme was explored in a near-field scanning optical microscope for super-resolution imaging, near-field transduction of nanomechanical vibrations, and local detection of ultrasound. Owing to the strong concentration of light at the probe, significant heating of the tip and a sample positioned in the optical near-field is expected. This paper investigates the local heating produced by the plasmonic nanofocusing probe under steady-state conditions using the tip-enhanced Raman scattering approach. In addition, a finite element model is explored to study the coupling of free propagating light to LSPs, and to estimate the temperature rise expected in a halfspace heated by absorption of the LSPs. This study has implications for exploring the plasmonic nanofocusing probe in heat-assisted nanofabrication and fundamental studies of nanoscale heat transport in materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number26
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Thermophysics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Near-field heating
  • Plasmonic nanofocusing
  • Tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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