Tomographic imaging of the photonic environment of plasmonic nanoparticles

Anton Hörl, Georg Haberfehlner, Andreas Trügler, Franz Schmidt, Ulrich Hohenester, Gerald Kothleitner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The photonic local density of states (LDOS) governs the enhancement of light–matter interaction at the nanoscale, but despite its importance for nanophotonics and plasmonics experimental local density of states imaging remains extremely challenging. Here we introduce a tomography scheme based on electron microscopy that allows retrieval of the three-dimensional local density of states of plasmonic nanoparticles with nanometre spatial and sub-eV energy resolution. From conventional electron tomography experiments we obtain the three-dimensional morphology of the nanostructure, and use this information to compute an expansion basis for the photonic environment. The expansion coefficients are obtained through solution of an inverse problem using as input electron-energy loss spectroscopy images. We demonstrate the applicability of our scheme for silver nanocuboids and coupled nanodisks, and resolve local density of states enhancements with extreme sub-wavelength dimensions in hot spots located at roughness features or in gaps of coupled nanoparticles
Original languageEnglish
Article number37
Number of pages7
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)

Fields of Expertise

  • Advanced Materials Science

Treatment code (Nähere Zuordnung)

  • Basic - Fundamental (Grundlagenforschung)

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