Femtosecond drift photocurrents generated by an inversely designed plasmonic antenna
Ye MouXingyu YangMarlo VegaBruno GallasJean-Francois BrycheAlexandre BouhelierMathieu Mivelle
Ye MouXingyu YangMarlo Vega
Photocurrents play a crucial role in various applications, including light detection, photovoltaics, and THz radiation generation. Despite the abundance of methods and materials for converting light into electrical signals, the use of metals in this context has been relatively limited. Nanostructures supporting surface plasmons in metals offer precise light manipulation and induce light-driven electron motion. Through inverse design optimization of a gold nanostructure, we demonstrate enhanced volumetric, unidirectional, intense, and ultrafast photocurrents via a magneto-optical process derived from the inverse Faraday effect. This is achieved through fine-tuning the amplitude, polarization, and their gradients in the local light field. The virtually instantaneous process allows dynamic photocurrent modulation by varying optical pulse duration, potentially yielding nanosources of intense, ultrafast, planar magnetic fields, and frequency-tunable THz emission. These findings opens avenues for ultrafast magnetic material manipulation and holds promise for nanoscale THz spectroscopy.