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Nanoscale Control over Magnetic Light-Matter Interactions

Beno\^it ReynierEric CharronObren Markovic ...+3 Mathieu Mivelle
Feb 2024
Light-matter interactions are frequently perceived as predominantly influenced by the electric optical field, with the magnetic component of light often overlooked. Nonetheless, the magnetic aspect plays a pivotal role in various optical processes, including chiral light-matter interactions, photon-avalanching, and forbidden photochemistry, underscoring the significance of manipulating magnetic processes in optical phenomena. Here, we explore the ability to control the magnetic light and matter interactions at the nanoscale. In particular, we demonstrate experimentally, using a plasmonic nanostructure, the transfer of energy from the optical magnetic field to a nanoparticle, thanks to the deep subwavelength magnetic confinement allowed by our nano-antenna. This control is made possible by the particular design of our plasmonic nanostructure, which has been optimized to spatially separate the electric and magnetic fields of the localized plasmon. Furthermore, by studying the spontaneous emission from the Lanthanide-ions doped nanoparticle, we observe that the optical field distributions are not spatially correlated with the electric and magnetic near-field quantum environments of this antenna, which seemingly contradicts the reciprocity theorem. We demonstrate that this counter-intuitive observation is in fact, the result of the different optical paths followed by the excitation and emission of the ions, which forbids a direct application of that theorem.
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