Loss compensation in a plasmonic nanoparticle array
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The problem of heavy material and radiative losses in plasmonic devices has held back their implementation for compact and high-speed data storage and interconnects. One of the most interesting solutions to this problem currently under exploration is the addition of a gain material in close proximity to the metallic nanostructures for loss compensation. Here the physics of light transport in a nanoparticle array, and the operation of gain media in contact with the structure, are described and analytically modeled. A two-dimensional array of closely spaced gold nanoparticles has been fabricated by focused ion beam milling, and its electromagnetic response in the presence or absence of a dye coating has been simulated in preparation for pump-probe optical testing. The compensation of losses via a fluorophore coating has been proven for the first time in this geometry, for a physically realized sample.