Optics Express

Light funneling from a photonic crystal laser cavity to a nano-antenna: Overcoming the diffraction limit in optical energy transfer down to the nanoscale

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We show that the near-field coupling between a photonic crystal microlaser and a nano-antenna can enable hybrid photonic systems that are both physically compact (free from bulky optics) and efficient at transferring optical energy into the nano-antenna. Up to 19% of the laser power from a micron-scale photonic crystal laser cavity is experimentally transferred to a bowtie aperture nano-antenna (BNA) whose area is 400-fold smaller than the overall emission area of the microlaser. Instead of a direct deposition of the nano-antenna onto the photonic crystal, it is fabricated at the apex of a fiber tip to be accurately placed in the microlaser near-field. Such light funneling within a hybrid structure provides a path for overcoming the diffraction limit in optical energy transfer to the nanoscale and should thus open promising avenues in the nanoscale enhancement and confinement of light in compact architectures, impacting applications such as biosensing, optical trapping, local heating, spectroscopy, and nanoimaging. © 2014 Optical Society of America.