5 years ago

Thermometry of Plasmonic Heating by Inelastic Electron Tunneling Spectroscopy (IETS)

Thermometry of Plasmonic Heating by Inelastic Electron Tunneling Spectroscopy (IETS)
Yoram Selzer, Nirit Nachman
The electronic and lattice heating accompanying plasmonic structures under illumination is suggested to be utilized in a broad range of thermoplasmonic applications. Specifically, in molecular electronics precise determination of the temperature of illuminated junctions is crucial, because the temperature-dependent energy distribution of charge carriers in the leads affects the possibility to steer various light-controlled conductance processes. Existing optical methods to characterize the local temperature in all these applications lack the spatial resolution to probe the few nanometers in size hot spots and therefore typically report average values over a diffraction limited length scale. Here we demonstrate that inelastic electron tunneling spectroscopy of molecular junctions based on thiol-alkyl chains can be used to precisely measure the temperature of metal nanoscale gaps under illumination. The nature of this measurement guarantees that the reported temperature indeed characterizes the confined volume in which heat is produced by the relaxation of hot carriers. Using a simple model, we suggest that the accuracy of the method enables also one to semiquantify the energy distribution of the hot carriers.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b03153

DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b03153

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