Mapping local optical densities of states in silicon photonic structures with nanoscale electron spectroscopy

Judy J. Cha, Zongfu Yu, Eric Smith, Martin Couillard, Shanhui Fan, and David A. Muller
Phys. Rev. B 81, 113102 – Published 9 March 2010


Relativistic electrons in a structured medium generate radiative losses such as Cherenkov and transition radiation that act as a virtual light source, coupling to the photonic densities of states. The effect is most pronounced when the imaginary part of the dielectric function is zero, a regime where in a nonretarded treatment no loss or coupling can occur. Maps of the resultant energy losses as a sub-5 nm electron probe scans across finite waveguide structures reveal spatial distributions of optical modes in a spectral domain ranging from near infrared to far ultraviolet.

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  • Received 10 August 2009


©2010 American Physical Society

Authors & Affiliations

Judy J. Cha1,*, Zongfu Yu2, Eric Smith3, Martin Couillard1,†, Shanhui Fan2, and David A. Muller1

  • 1School of Applied and Engineering Physics, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA
  • 2Department of Electrical Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, USA
  • 3Department of Physics, Columbia University, New York, New York 10027, USA

  • *Present address: Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
  • Present address: Department of Materials Science and Engineering and Canadian Centre for Electron Microscopy, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada L8S 4L7.

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Vol. 81, Iss. 11 — 15 March 2010

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