Understanding the plasmonics of nanostructured atomic force microscopy tips
Structured metallic tips are increasingly important for optical spectroscopies such as tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy, with plasmonic resonances frequently cited as a mechanism for electric field enhancement. We probe the local optical response of sharp and spherical-tipped atomic force microscopy (AFM) tips using a scanning hyperspectral imaging technique to identify the plasmonic behaviour. Localised surface plasmon resonances which radiatively couple with far-field light are found only for spherical AFM tips, with little response for sharp AFM tips, in agreement with numerical simulations of the near-field response. The precise tip geometry is thus crucial for plasmon-enhanced spectroscopies, and the typical sharp cones are not preferred.
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/L027151/1)
European Research Council (320503)
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/K028510/1)