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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Ultraconfined Plasmonic Hotspots Inside Graphene Nanobubbles.

  • Author(s): Fei, Z;
  • Foley, JJ;
  • Gannett, W;
  • Liu, MK;
  • Dai, S;
  • Ni, GX;
  • Zettl, A;
  • Fogler, MM;
  • Wiederrecht, GP;
  • Gray, SK;
  • Basov, DN
  • et al.

We report on a nanoinfrared (IR) imaging study of ultraconfined plasmonic hotspots inside graphene nanobubbles formed in graphene/hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) heterostructures. The volume of these plasmonic hotspots is more than one-million-times smaller than what could be achieved by free-space IR photons, and their real-space distributions are controlled by the sizes and shapes of the nanobubbles. Theoretical analysis indicates that the observed plasmonic hotspots are formed due to a significant increase of the local plasmon wavelength in the nanobubble regions. Such an increase is attributed to the high sensitivity of graphene plasmons to its dielectric environment. Our work presents a novel scheme for plasmonic hotspot formation and sheds light on future applications of graphene nanobubbles for plasmon-enhanced IR spectroscopy.

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