High-Quality Surface Plasmon Polaritons in Large-Area Sodium Nanostructures

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Department of Physics


Sodium (Na) is predicted to be an ideal plasmonic material with ultralow optical loss across visible to near-infrared (NIR). However, there has been limited research on Na plasmonics. Here we develop a scalable fabrication method for Na nanostructures by combining phase-shift photolithography and a thermo-assisted spin-coating process. Using this method, we fabricated Na nanopit arrays with varying periodicities (300-600 nm) and with tunable surface plasmon polariton (SPP) modes spanning visible to NIR. We achieved SPP resonances as narrow as 9.3 nm. In addition, Na nanostructures showed line width narrowing from visible toward NIR, showing their prospect operating in the NIR. To address the challenges associated with the high reactivity of Na, we designed a simple encapsulation strategy and stabilized the Na nanostructures in ambient conditions for more than two months. As a low-cost and low-loss plasmonic material, Na offers a competitive option for nanophotonic devices and plasmon-enhanced applications.

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Nano Letters