Quantum plasmonics



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This work explores the quantum limit of Surface Plasmon Polariton (SPP) generation based on Bohr’s Correspondence Principle, i.e. that the quantum description of a phenomenon must converge to its classical counterpart in the limit of large numbers. Specifically, this work addresses the excitation and detection of single-photon SPPs. This is accomplished by first exploring whether SPPs can be excited using an extremely low intensity pump beam and traditional SPP fluorescence generation in a Kreschmann configuration setup; and then by using Spontaneous Paramedic Down-Conversion (SPDC) as a source of SPP excitation in a gold-gold grating. The detectors used for the experiment are Single Photon Counting Modules (SPCM) that have the ability to detect low intensity light, in the realm of single photons. The granular effect of light is demonstrated by integrating the Hanbury Brown and Twiss experiment into the SPP detection scheme and measuring the degree of second order coherence g(2)(0) of both the SPP excitation beam and the SPP leakage radiation. The results demonstrate that by using beam of single photons as a source of excitation, one can indeed generate single-photon SPP’s whose leakage radiation that remains temporally spaced.